As Sandy struck New Dorp Jerry Gagnon waited. He watched sewage invade his home through the tub and toilet. He stayed until the water rose to the third step on the cement stairs in front of his home. Then he fled, driving to a nearby supermarket parking lot, where he waited again, the roads to safer havens too flooded to drive. After the storm passed, he waited four hours in line to buy a generator. He waited until last weekend for his power to come on.
On Thursday, seventeen days after Sandy, Gagnon was waiting again--waiting for his brother to arrive from Utah to help hang new sheetrock on his ruined first floor, waiting for the insurance company to come through with a check, which won't cover the thousands of dollars in tools he lost in the flood, but will at least apply to the cost of replacing the walls and floors of his home, and the furnace.
"Now it's a waiting game. There's nothing to do but wait," Gagnon says. His wife Annmarie--who fled Sandy earlier than her husband with their two children, a dog and two rabbits--waited with him, looking for the electrician who was due to arrive. Sore throat or not, she smoked, because that's something you do when you wait.
Gagnon considers himself lucky, and for good reason. His house is standing, unlike the one at left, on ravaged Kissam Avenue.