Red Hook recovers from Hurricane Sandy
by Kathleen Lees
Nov 02, 2012 | 1466 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Red-Hook Initiative (RHI), a community-based institution in Brooklyn, is helping serve hot meals and distribute supplies for residents without power in NYCHA Red Hook Houses.

Sandy Brockwell, the operations coordinator at the RHI, said that from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the organization will be accepting drop-off donations, including flashlights, batteries, candles and other items to help those in the area whose homes had been flooded.

“People are coming in and charging up their cell phones and computers,” Brockwell added, stressing that many people in the area had also lost power.

With a great number of local residents devastated by the storm, Brockwell said that it was difficult to meet the demand of incoming victims at the organization's headquarters.

“We're not that big and there's a lot of people that need help,” Brockwell said, who added that hundreds of people had come and gone from the shelter. “We're trying to move people in and out, and let more people come. It's difficult.”

Along with homes in Red Hook, businesses also suffered the brunt of the storm.

“We're just slowly picking up the pieces,” said third-year manager Josh Slomsum of Baked, a desert cafe on Van Brunt Street, just a few blocks from the waterfront.

Slomsum said the company lost power Monday night, which did not return to the store until approximately 3 p.m., Wednesday. Baked's basement was also flooded after the storm.

After entering the building post-hurricane, Slomsum said they had lost most of their inventory, including books, granola and other food items, a freezer and other storage space that had been damaged or destroyed due to flooding.

“It felt overwhelming,” Slomsum said.

However, with the help of 30 volunteers from RHI, Slomsum said their basement had been completely cleaned out and was back to normal. The rest of the store is still a work in progress, but would be functioning at regular hours, according to Slomsum, on Monday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For their weekend hours, the revised schedule would be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Even with the damage, Baked opened their doors to people, offering free coffee and Wi-Fi on Thursday.

RHI is located at 767 Hicks Street. To volunteer to help a local business with clean up, you can call RHI at (718)-858-6782.
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