Louisiana officials lend hand in New York for hurricane recovery

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wwltv.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 8:47 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

As the Northeast recovers from Hurricane Sandy and this week's nor'easter, a team of disaster experts from Louisiana is there offering advice and guidance.

Along Tennyson Drive in Staten Island, N.Y, storm-tossed boats litter the neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

“I got a text message from a friend of my sister-in-law that said there is a marina in your front yard, better come down and take a look,” said Jim Kelly, a Staten Island resident.

Hurricane Sandy pushed a nine-foot wall of water into this area, flooding homes and taking lives.

“There was an elderly couple that lived in the complex down the street, and they unfortunately tried to drive out right as the surge was coming in. Their bodies were found behind the boat over there in the corner,” said Laura Peters.

Hurricane Sandy damage is not hard to find on Staten Island, a community that now faces a recovery based on water damage – something the people of southeast Louisiana know all too well.

“In these areas that are hard hit, it looks just like Katrina,” said Kevin Davis, director Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.  Davis was the former parish president of St. Tammany Parish.

Davis and a team of managers are in New York, advising officials on logistics involving the immediate storm response.

“Anytime you’re in a disaster, you’re first issues are dealing with the response. They’re still in response, moving toward the recovery. Because so many people are without power, which affects all living conditions and the ability to move to a recovery stage,” said Davis.

This is a frustration that seasoned Red Cross volunteers see on the ground, no matter the storm.

“If it is you that lost your house, doesn’t matter what name we give the storm; it’s just as devastating as can be,” said Pete Speckmann, a Red Cross volunteer.
 

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