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North Park Couple Survived Sandy in Bungalow

House fully powered with generator and kerosene heaters.

York Edwards outside his East Pine Street home on Friday, where Hurricane Sandy destroyed his basement eleven days before.
York Edwards outside his East Pine Street home on Friday, where Hurricane Sandy destroyed his basement eleven days before.

At the height of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath, York and Bonnie Edwards were ready to retreat to the attic of their bungalow at 24 E. Pine St. in Long Beach.

They had just watched the bay and ocean converge on their North Park street, the water rapidly headed toward their side door.

“It happened in a matter of five minutes,” Bonnie recalled. “It was like a wave coming.”

The water flooded their basement and started to rise toward the first floor, but it retreated instead.   

“We’ve been surviving,” York said on Friday as he filled his mud-splattered Durango with gas from a red container. The 4x4 was one of his four vehicles that Sandy somehow spared as she ripped through the city Oct. 29.

York said his house has been fully powered since he purchased a generator for $900 from Ace Hardware in Island Park. He’s warming his home with kerosene heaters, having purchased four gallons of the fuel for $65 in the neighboring village.

York, who is retired from the U.S. Army, and Bonnie, a retired teacher’s assistant at Long Beach Middle School, have lived in their home for 40 years. They said they had never experienced such flooding there before, not even during Hurricane Irene last year.

While the bungalow behind their home didn’t flood, York spent more than two days after the storm pumping water from his basement. Nearly everything down there — the freezer, furniture and washer and dryer — was destroyed. Just one thing was left intact.  

“I have hot water because the hot water tank didn’t go,” York said with a smile. 

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