There has always been talk of the return of the 100-Year Flood. I think we can classify Hurricane Irene as that flood. In looking at the horrendous damages done to Passaic County as it calculates to dollars, this flood was truly a wipe out flood for many families. Millions of dollars expensed to municipalities that are currently fighting to stay in operation. Millions of dollars needed to compensate for home/ business properties, vehicle damages, and medical bills due to mildew and mold viruses. Some
families we spoke with were coping well with their loss; devastated but not broken.
The most difficult thing that they spoke about in terms of loss were the personal items – pictures of graduation, weddings, deceased relatives; certificates of their children's achievements, sentimental clothing and blankets passed down from generation to generation. They loss the things that help you to hang on to yesterday. One would think that the giving would not be plenty; but it was. In some places there was more than the victims of the storm could take in hand with no real place of home to put it all. Some places of donations were untouched because of the inability to get victims across water areas to get the items of need. Patersonians remarked that they sometimes feel that they are forgotten and are treated like the step child of the county. But not so. The first 3 days of September were days of "Don't give up! Help is Here. We have not forgotten you." Emergency shelter available at Eastside High School and Passaic County Community College. Councilman B. Wimberly who organized feeding. Feedings of 200 meals of breakfast, and 200 sandwiches and juice for lunch for two days donated by the local Mc Donalds in Paterson owned by Alisa Harrison. Community Leader, Steve Brown, Councilman President – A.E. Davis, whom worked through the nights after the flood providing food(sometimes by boat) for street barbecues to feed small communities of people who remained watchful through the night outside their homes. Honeywell Co., John Veller, Danny Inoa, Nancy Grier Akbar Mc Entyre, Miguel Diaz, Elease Evans, Victor Cruz, Valarie Freeman, EMT & Fire Fighters who volunteered from local and surrounding towns who worked tirelessly out with clean-up and rescue needs. Lowes and Home Depot, companies that provided free buckets of product clean-up. Most important, Red Cross, Catholic Services, CUMAC-ECHO and FEMA, H.H.S. (Donna Nelson Ivy) (Rhonda Thompson) O.M.E, DPW, organizations that rushed in and addressed critical issues of extended care and compensation that impacted the homeless on a large scale. Let us not forget our president, Barrack Obama for taking an interest in our emergency. Th e outburst of love and concern was felt by children and adults who were now homeless. Th rough the many resources of Paterson, neighboring towns were able to receive assistance. To those who lived through it and can still smile… you are our heroes too.