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    Posted December 8, 2012 by
    DougKuntz
    Location
    New York, New York
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories

    DougKuntz and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Sandy's damage across the East Coast
    More from DougKuntz

    I'm Sorry For What You've Been Through

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     New York based freelance photographer, DougKuntz, has been documenting humanitarian volunteer Alison Thompson as she works with the residents of Rockaway, New York, deal with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He captured this footage on November 24, but says conditions in Rockaway are still just as bad. 'There are still piles of debris outside on the streets,' he said. But he says the true problem is with the mold growth happening in people's homes. 'When you step into the homes you can see the affects of Sandy. Mold is growing everywhere. Sometimes entire floors and walls have to come out of these homes,' he said. He explains that Thompson has medical training, and she has pointed out the potential health problems mold can cause in Rockaway.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    New York-Dec. 8th-3a.m.

    Alison Thompson has tirelessly marched into dark, wet, stairwells assisting trapped residents, many afraid to venture out,or physically unable , while some are sadly just too proud to ask for help and not willing to let a stranger in their wreaked homes.
    The mental strain of residents can even be seen in the faces of people who have the ability to get out and get help and food.
    As Thompson said earlier, this disaster is too big for govt. agencies, and organizations, and needs the help of any and all individuals able to help in any way.

    This is a quote from a public posting of Thompson's on November 23rd.-

    While there have been improvements in the past 2 weeks, there are still serious issues affecting thousands of people in the Rockaways, and surrounding townships.

    "How do I begin to share my experience with you of the days that followed the ‘Sandy’ hurricane disaster. Three war ships sat just offshore my location in the Rockaways and Chinook helicopters buzzed above me as 20 blocks to my south gangs walked the streets in the dark searching for gas and food and trouble. Blinds were drawn as shaky locals locked their doors by 5pm.

    “I am walking back through the gates of hell of Sept 11th and onto ‘Sandy’ whose streets are filled with discarded life long possessions and mothers begging me for insulin for their children. Nine miles of no power or water and churches and houses burned to the ground with steps leading to nowhere. You would think I was in Haiti but no I was standing in The United States of America- in Rockaway Queens in one of the largest most complicated logistics disasters I've ever seen. Communications are down and I'm the only medic on this site tonight till back up comes tomorrow. Am heading up into high rises with no power to save elderly people freezing on the 16th floor and who were alone in the dark with diabetes and heart problems. They think that the power will be on soon but it wont be! Does the world know how bad it is here? Here at St Francis church on 129th st we have a good flow of food and water now and we are feeding it out to miles below us who have nothing. Yesterday we served over 4000 tired freezing local distressed people today and are expecting around 6000 tomorrow- Each moment in the day is a new moment from a kind lady with 6 kids with no heat food water power or anywhere to go who doesn't want to take too much aid in case others need it to great volunteers arriving fresh with huge smiles and great attitudes to spraying parfum all over myself to cover the fact of not showering or changing my clothes for the past 10 days.

    This disaster is too big for Rescue, Aid groups and Governments to do alone- it’s just too big. Everyone is needed to reach outside of them selves to help. Do not sit and watch it unravel like we did helplessly with Katrina- do something. Rise up Citizens of one of the greatest countries of the world!

    "It’s easy to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but its Leadership to be in the wrong place at the right time"---- step up!"

    So this ends for me this morning, with another public plea for more volunteers to step up and help in any way they can.
    They are needed today more than ever, as there are still huge problems here, that could potentially become unmanageable.

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