As you have probably seen or heard by now, our “Mile Square City” was hit extremely hard by Hurricane Sandy and is now in the process of recovery. I have heard reports of water up to 7 feet high in some places. According to our mayor, almost half our city (20,000 people) was estimated to be trapped in their apartments at one point. The waters have receded, but most of our city has been without power since Monday night, and is very carefully and slowly being restored.
Nick and I are safe and sound at a church family’s house in the next town over. We live in the neighborhood on the cliff behind Hoboken, so losing power has been the extent of our personal hurricane ordeal. I hardly know how to express what I have been feeling this past week. I am heartbroken for my city, encouraged by the people of Hoboken and the surrounding area being true neighbors, loving others as themselves. There are shelters, charging stations, and community meals being served up across the city. There is even a live, interactive recovery map (showing these resources to those who can access it).
I shared a few months ago about how God is changing my heart for Hoboken. Yesterday, I walked down the entirety of First street in Hoboken, feeling more and more nauseous with each block, seeing so many businesses and basement/first floor homes with sewage sludge all over the floors, every kind of household item imaginable ruined and put on the curb to be trashed. I spent several hours helping one of my friends muck out her basement apartment where she also runs her Hoboken-based business. She lost probably 90% of everything she owns. All her furniture had to be trashed. Basically all that remained were clothes, most of we didn’t know whether they could be saved due to sewage and gasoline infested waters.
Hoboken needs your prayers, donations, and volunteer efforts. It is still early, but here are the few ways I know you can help thus far:
The city is still in need of non-perishable food, bottled water, baby formula, diapers, generators, and containers of gasoline. If you would like to ship items directly to help Hoboken here is the address:
Hoboken High School
800 Clinton Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Please pass this post on to anyone who might be willing to help in some way.