Many await word from loved ones regarding the need for money, food, and other necessities
Massive destruction and devastation spread throughout the city and all boroughs as Hurricane Sandy tore through the United States on Monday.
Earlier this week a state of emergency was called for the New York area, with airport closures, shutdown of the rail and bus transportation systems and shelters activated.
By Tuesday subways and tunnels were flooded as flood waters turned streets into rushing rivers. Thousands of flights in the U.S. northeast were grounded Monday leaving many persons stranded.
The death toll is still not yet confirmed. But reports are that two children were killed when a tree fell into a house in Westchester.
A woman was washed away in Staten island. In Queens, 50 homes in one community were destroyed by fire, while New York University Hospital had to evacuate over 200 patients including 20 babies when it lost power and a backup generator failed.
Still prayers and tears are for the safety of family members and relatives back home in Jamaica. Many await word from loved ones regarding the need for money, food, and other necessities.
While there is no official word from Money transfer entities like Western Union and Jamaica National, local Western Union broker like Daphne who owns a vegetable and meat store in the Bronx, New York has seen an increase in transmittals to the island.
“I can hardly sit down”, she says. “Every other customer was sending money to Jamaica”. All across New York and beyond Jamaicans are on the alert.
June from Brooklyn was worried about her sister who lives in St. Andrew, because although she was physically sound, was trapped in her community because a large tree was uprooted and blocked the only road in and out of the area; but was relieved when she got word that the tree was moved.
Trevor who lives in the Bronx, New York and has family and friends in the St. Thomas area prayed for their safety when he got word that they were trapped in their homes due to rising water.
“They are safe now”, he says, and he is thankful. Glenna who lives in Queens, New York was worried about her elderly parents who live in Spanish Town.
Her mother suffers from hypertension and her father is disabled from a stroke. She was very relieved when she received word that they were safe.
All across the state similar sentiments are being expressed and Jamaicans are waiting patiently for word on how to help.
Many churches are awaiting word from contacts on the island concerning what they can do to assist in any relief efforts. One such church is Restoration Ministries located in the Bronx, New York.
Their pastor Rev. Winsome Ramsey has her members ready to offer any assistance they can. “We have been in prayer for the country”, she says ‘and we are just waiting to hear what we can do to help”.
Included in the mounting rally for support are many civic and political organizations along with several alumni associations.
President of the Jamaica Progressive League for example, Sadie Campbell states, “The League and its members are ready to respond to any relief effort; we are awaiting word from the Jamaican Consulate”.
She continues, “Once they receive word from the government then they will instruct the organizations here how to respond”. Due to deadline constraints we have not been able to get a direct response from the consulate.
Still the Jamaican community here are reassured that the Jamaican Consulate will properly guide them in all relief efforts so that it is done responsibly and effectively as has been proven in the past.