I found Heather, crowbar in hand, removing dampened floor boards from the house she and her boyfriend had weathered the storm in weeks before. An all-volunteer crew of five was hammering beside her, trying to abate the spread of mold, that form the smell of things was already settling in like an uninvited house guest.
Heather showed us around to survey the damage. Basically anything under a meter from the ground got flooded. The shock really hit me when cornering the drive way I got a glimpse of their car, which now resembled a incubating terrarium. I asked Heather to take a break from demolition duty and share her thoughts.
As we walked towards the front yard she shared her storm story, a howling mix of flooding, fire watch, and the improvised gestation of an escape plan. Most survivors of the storm share a similar script of events with slight variations, and others with unspeakable intensity. Her neighbor crept out and invited us over for some fresh beagles and mimosas she brought in from Brooklyn a few hours earlier; scrambling to restore some flitting sense of normalcy within the dystopic landscape that surround them.
Sitting on her neighbor's stoop, her hands strangely adapting from crowbar to stemware while her dust mask dangle off her pinky, bulldozers humming in the background; Heather was now ready to share her story.