Five weeks after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the city, hundreds of families in Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn are settling in for a potentially rough winter. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
The McGowan family of Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn settled into their own space on Sunday night for the first time since Hurricane Sandy severely damaged their home.
The storm and constant moving took a strong toll on the family.
"When the water came in and took out our first floor, the pictures, the kids' toys, the Christmas presents. Just all that kind of stuff, I'm sorry, has been hard," said Liz McGowan.
"We were very blessed with everybody that took us in but you like to be able to come in and take your shoes off and say, 'Hi, I'm home honey,'" said Scott McGowan.
The McGowans' home is not the one they own. It is a winterized camper sitting in their front yard, donated by a complete strangers who contacted Gerritsen Beach Cares, an organization which runs a relief supply distribution center.
"Wayne and Pam from Glen Cove, thank you so much. They got in contact with GB Cares," said Scott McGowan.
Gerritsen Beach Cares' board chairman, Michael Taylor, is calling for donations of winterized campers and recreational vehicles.
"People have been in a desperate situation right now. Twenty-five percent of the community is going to be back to normal, at least with heat and hot water," Taylor said. "Others, a couple of months, and others are going to take six months or longer."
The McGowans are among them. The flood moved their home's foundation and they expect it to take months to fix it.
"For us to have a place just to come in and let the kids run around, let everyone just relax, it really is amazing," said Liz McGowan.
While the McGowan children play, the adults actually continue to find strength in five-year-old Patrick.
For a month, Patrick has said, "Everything's going to be all right, I promise." Now his parents just might be starting to believe.
People who have a winterized camper or RV that they can give the cause are asked to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.