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First Person Account Of The Damage In The Rockaways

“I don’t think people understand exactly what happened in our neighborhood,” says a Rockaway resident in this powerful mini-documentary.

Alex Braverman, a documentarian in Brooklyn, shot this intense short film over the weekend in Rockaway Beach, one of the neighborhoods in New York City that was hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy. The footage is soundtracked by a brief voice mail message from Braverman’s friend, Rockaway Beach resident Michelle Cortez.

“It’s like a scene out of some end-of-the-world movie, and there’s no exaggeration there,” says Cortez. “My front stoop is now a piece of the boardwalk, there are cars piled on top of cars piled under boardwalk. People have died, houses have been set on fire and are gone. I can’t see my block, we’re walking in clouds of sand and garbage and furniture. But we’re OK, we’re just making fires at night in the street and cooking communally and trying to stay together and keep the block safe. I don’t think people understand exactly what happened in our neighborhood.”

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