Hurricane Sandy's images haunt Folsom coupleBy: Laura Newell, Features Editor
James Early and his wife Ann went to visit family in New York during the storm of Hurricane Sandy and said the images and sadness they returned home with will stay with them forever.
Early said after walking the streets following the storm, the photos he took were only half the story. The smells of gasoline and diesel and sounds of people crying after losing everything, was more than a single photo could capture.
Early, 67, of Folsom, visited his daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter in Long Beach, Long Island, New York. He left on Oct. 25 and returned back to Folsom on Nov. 4, just days after the storm.
“We knew the storm was going to happen, but had the trip planned for long time, so we were going,” Early said. “We stayed on the second floor in our daughter’s house, so we stayed safe during the storm. But what we saw afterward was devastating.”
Early walked through the streets of his daughter’s neighborhood and along the path of where the boardwalk was to better understand all the damage done after the storm.
“Seeing all this was very heartbreaking for the people around us,” Early said. “We were OK, but everyone around us in sight had water damage. Nothing was missed during the storm. Every business and home that I saw was flooded by at least 2 to 3 feet of water. It was absolutely tragic. There will be a huge, long recovery.”
He said as a west coast resident, it was very humbling to come back to Folsom to a house with a roof over his head that was water free.
“I actually felt guilt leaving everyone behind,” Early said. “I wanted to help everyone back east more than I could during my short visit.”