The night of September 1, Hurricane Ida barreled through the unprepared northeastern United States during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. After wreaking havoc in parts of the southern U.S., Ida brought devastating rains and wind to the north.
Some parts of New York and New Jersey were safe from the storm and recovered quickly. Other parts saw entire lives changed in the matter of a few hours.
My hometown of Hollis, NY, was one of those places.
The morning after the storm, Ida's destruction was as clear as the sunny skies that audaciously defied the previous night. Basements were flooded. Cars were flooded. Foundations were damaged. Residents, my neighbors, were left without belongings - some now homeless.
But the most devastating effect on our Hollis neighborhood was the loss of two lives.
According to neighborhood residents, federal and state aid did not show up in the first few days after the flood. Residents were left without water, gas and necessities to recover from the flood.
Family, friends, volunteers and associates came to Hollis for several days after the flood to donate and distribute items to residents. Cleaning supplies, hygienic care items, pantry items, bedding and hot food were given out continuously from morning until night each day.
December 1 marks three months from the night that Hurricane Ida devastated Hollis and other parts of New York and New Jersey.
Today, not only are residents still without aid, but the flood has faded from the memory of many.
"We literally only have each other."
- Amrisa Bhagwandin, Hollis resident