As places like New York City and much of New Jersey continue to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, a couple from Wrentham is doing their part to help those affected by the storm. After seeing the destruction that resulted from the hurricane, Tanya Werning Keating along with her husband Michael, traveled to Rockaway Beach in Queens last week to help with the recovery.
The Keatings chose to go to Rockaway Beach due to their personal ties to the area. The boyfriend of Tanya’s sister-in-law lives in the area and while he was safe during and after the storm, there were plenty of others who needed as much help as they could get.
As they drove over the bridge to Rockaway, no amount of footage on TV or warnings could prepare the Keatings for what they would see. While on the bridge, Tanya saw a six-foot chain link fence on the bridge covered with garbage and debris, a sign that the water had recently risen to high levels.
“We were pretty scared of what we were going to see because that told us that the water was all the way up there,” Tanya Keating said. “When we got there, it was kind of like a bomb went off. It (the storm) just left stuff everywhere.”
One of the effects of the storms has been that many places that normally would not be places to organize volunteers have become bases to distribute supplies and send out volunteers. One of those places was a surf shop that became a spot to send out supplies and dispatch volunteers. This is where the Keatings went to help out delivering supplies and being dispatched to help clean the beach.
In addition to helping distribute supplies, there was also a trip to the boardwalk which what was for the most part, destroyed by the storm. When the Keatings got there, all that was left was a small part of the actual boardwalk with the rest of it scattered along the side streets and the neighborhood.
The couple then helped clean out the house of an elderly couple. Badly damaged, the basement of the house had to be completly cleaned out and the house had to be gutted and striped down to the studs in order for it to be properly cleaned.
While Keating is back home, a friend from Medfield will be heading up this weekend to help with the recovery. The Keatings will be collecting supplies to be brought up.
The list of needed items includes drinking water, hot food, coffee, sugar, Parmalat, Similac, infant formula, laundry detergent, shampoo, soap, deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, flashlights and batteries, Pampers (sizes 2, 5, 6), adult diapers (extra-large), cold cereal, juices, small bottles of cooking oil, underwear for adult men and women, socks (all ages), gloves, scarves, hats, blankets, sweaters, coats, coloring books, crayons, board games, books, school supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, backpacks), canned soups, canned tuna, canned veggies, canned fruit, fresh fruit, candles, mops, push brooms, generators and gasoline.
Supplies can be dropped off at the Keatings’ house on Tilting Rock Road They are the yellow house, second on the right.