CUNY SPH, Hunter College “Dietetic Interns” respond to super storm Sandy

Alen Agaronov: Then things got interesting. Hurricane Sandy was not expected to have the effect that it did. Manhattan Beach, Gerritsen Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, and Downtown Manhattan (including the South Street Seaport) were hit the hardest. Decks and patios from Breezy point landed on Manhattan Beach. A FULL BAR FROM BREEZY POINT LANDED INSIDE THE STREETS OF GERRITSEN BEACH. I decided to blog about Hurricane Sandy and it’s probable effect on future NYC health policies.

Two friends and myself spent 3 days volunteering. The first day was spent helping local restaurants, as well as interview them for an upcoming article. The second day was spent as part of a Clean Up Sheepshead Bay group; we ended up helping a retired couple move their stuff out of the basement. Unfortunately, these people were class A HOARDERS. The third day was spent helping rebuild the New Amsterdam Market office. We took apart the drywall and munched on bread from Sullivan Street Bakery. We then went out by the water to check up on our shipping container (where we keep our market tables, stands, chalkboard etc for appx. 60 vendors) and removed, cleaned, and replaced all of them. The shipping container was NOT in good shape when we found it. Doors were busted open, so we wrapped it in plastic and held it in place with duct tape (it looked like a christmas present).

Hurricane Sandy Relief:

Holly Hudson: Volunteered with Transportation Alternatives today to help new bike commuters. The storm shut down public transportation for a few days, and the mayor put HOV restrictions on entry into Manhattan across the bridges in order to prevent traffic from impeding recovery efforts. As a result of this, more people have been turning to bicycles to get around and get to work. Usually 13,000 people per day bike across the Manhattan Bridge, but today 30,000 people did. A lot of these new bike commuters don’t have bike lights, which makes biking around areas of the city without power particularly dangerous.

Many also don’t know the rules of the road (for instance, it’s illegal not to have lights on your bike). TA organized free bike valet parking in Times Square to help new commuters, and handed out lights and information both in Times Square and later on the Manhattan Bridge. We also did some minor bike repairs, provided air, and patched some flats.

Helped clean up Red Hook Community Farm. This community farm runs a CSA and has programs for kids in the neighborhood. They were flooded by the Gowanus and will need to compost or throw out (depending on soil test results) everything that was growing on the farm. I spent the day harvesting, then destroying, so many beautiful vegetables. There were lovely cabbages, bok choy, tatsoi, arugula, eggplants, hot peppers, and tomatillos, all rendered trash by Gowanus floodwaters. There’s a possibility that they will have to scrape all the soil from the farm and start over.