A wild storm with a sweet name. A devastating force. Estimated economic damage between $20 and $50 billion.

Obama. Romney. People. 185 killed. 22 Missing.

Matteo Lonardi

Matteo’s walk through the streets of New York City and Queens a few days after one of the largest Atlantic hurricanes (preceded only by Katrina) hit these areas leaving people homeless and hungry.

“Lights had gone out all of a sudden. Only the sound of the wind was left whistling through the avenues and across the streets. The city remained silent and dark. Dark as I had never seen it before. In a powerless lower Manhattan people walked up to fifty blocks to get their phones charged. Everything, from 39th street all the way to Battery Park, was shut down, while some bars kept their doors open to candle lit tables and undefined pitch-black drinks.

As Manhattan’s folks were struggling with useless lamps and dark living rooms, other people, south of queens, were dealing with other types of problems. In the Rockaway, a neighbourhood in the south of Queens , hurricane SANDY had literally teared houses to pieces. Fires had burned down entire blocks and people, still ten days later are struggling with recovering from the damages.

Traffic lights on the road to the Rockaway were out. The van that carried volunteers and supplies shook continuously as the overcrowded vehicle proceeded towards the devastated areas.
We were dropped off on 131st street in the early afternoon. A camp was set At the local church for distributing clothes and food. Helicopters flew often on top of our heads as airplanes slowly crossed the sky descending into JFK airport. Many had come in from all over New York City to volunteer for those in need.

We walked through the muddy streets bringing water and blankets to people’s houses as the first snow-storm of the season approched rubbing salt in the hurricane’s fresh wounds.”

October, 22nd – October, 31st. Sandy. Jamaica. Haiti. Cuba. Bahamas. Bermuda. Florida. North Carolina. Virginia. Washington DC. Maryland. Delaware. New Jersey. Pennsylvania. New York. New England. The Midwest. Canada.

www.matteo-lonardi.com  Photos Matteo Lonardi

By Cosima Bucarelli