The Night of Hurricane Sandy

Ditmas Park Corner

I’m going to begin this post with the greatest loss of all — Jessie Streich-Kest and Jacob Vogelman, both in their early 20’s, were killed sometime on Monday night while they were walking their dog, when a tree fell on all three of them.  Their bodies were discovered Tuesday morning, and Max, their pit-bull mix, is in veterinary intensive care.

From the Ditmas Park Corner:

Jessie’s family released the following statement:

“Just 24 years old, Jessie Streich-Kest left a lasting impression on all who met her, and especially on her students at Bushwick HS for Social Justice, to whom she was deeply committed. Jessie loved life and was deeply devoted to social justice.”

Jacob Vogelman was “a nice guy, very kind and always smiling” remembered Dominique Manzione, a friend of his from high school. Jacob grew up nearby and had attended Goldstein High School near Manhattan Beach. For college, he attended SUNY Buffalo.

Donations can be made in their memory here.


There was a large amount of property damage as well.  Apologies for the poor quality:

Empty shelves at the Flatbush Food Co-Op on Sunday afternoon. Thank God they left the condiments!

Not exactly sure what this says about Brooklyn, but all the real milk was gone. Only soy milk and Rice Dream left.

Sunday night was fairly boring, as we all settled in for the long haul.  By Monday night though, we were in the throes of the storm and starting to get cabin feverish.  8pm was forecast to be the strongest point of the storm, and, being stupid and a journalist, my first thought is to run into that burning building.  At 8 the girlfriend and I decided to venture out, and though the storm looked dramatic from our perch on the sixth floor of our apartment building, at ground level it honestly just felt a little breezy.

Our curiosity satiated, we decided to head for the bar.  Naturally.

Thankfully, the guys over at Sycamore, our local whiskey haunt, had just the right attitude.

After working up some liquid courage, a friend picked me up in his car and we ventured out into the night.

Heading down my street, we found we were blocked in on three sides by trees blocking the roads.  The one above had just destroyed a poor little Toyota Echo.

The tree above was creaking and moaning its pleas to stay upright.  You can see its roots tearing up the ground at the bottom.

This Getty sign had been torn down and blown about 20 feet by the approximately 80 MPH gusts.

Heading down Coney Island Avenue, the lights abruptly went dark once we got too far south (and thus near the water).  In a bit of inventive thinking, the NYPD had roped in a fan boat from the New York Forest Service in an attempt to rescue those in Brighton Beach.

Next stop was the Brooklyn Promenade.  We had heard lower Manhattan was completely in the dark, so it was worth a look for ourselves.

Yes, believe it or not, that is the fabled Manhattan skyline.


About Michael Ballaban

Editor, The Ball-Aban News

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