Former First Responder Leans On Past To Rebuild
One New Dorp Beach resident who has helped others in the past is hoping to show others in his neighborhood that the worst is behind them as he looks ahead to rebuilding. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
New Dorp Beach resident Marc Alvarez never thought he would have to tear apart his family's dream home of 17 years in order to salvage it.
"We saw that the water had gotten at least three feet here in the house, it destroyed everything," Alvarez said.
Alvarez is a special assistant to Congressman Michael Grimm. Before that he was in the U.S. Marine Corps and spent 23 years with the New York City Police Department, most recently as a detective with the Arson and Explosion Squad. So he says he is used to helping others, not asking for aid himself, which is something he has had to do since Sandy. Still, he has continued to work to assist storm victims even while trying to take care of his own matters.
"Even though I had to help my family, as soon as my family was safe, I knew they had someplace to stay and they were dry and we lost everything but I needed to get out and help the other people that I knew that couldn't do it for themselves," Alvarez recalled.
The husband and father of two teenage sons choked up thinking about all of those people who came to bat for him and others in his neighborhood.
"I still can't, the amount of help that we got, was overwhelming for me. And I'm just not used to something like that. I'm used to being that guy who helps, so it's been an emotional ride for us," Alvarez said.
Alvarez says he is determined to rebuild his home and return there with his family, and hopes his neighbors will be able to do the same.
"If we stay and rebuild it I think might help the rest of the neighborhood to start seeing, 'Okay, we stayed, they can stay.' And hopefully it will catch on, we'll get the neighborhood back to where it's going to be," Alvarez said.
Alvarez says he knows it will take some time, but he is hoping his community can come back stronger than ever.