Remember the roofing strewn all over Liberty Street. Check the photo above…..some people have been working 24/7 and have made big leaps back to normalcy.
A Week Later, a Community Heals and Rebuilds
By Jesse King
Downed power lines, split tree trunks and large, scattered branches littered streets and lawns after the tremendous storm that ripped through Orange County on May 15, leaving residents with the difficult task of fixing their community and restoring its beauty and order. It would be easy to feel hopeless with such a daunting task ahead. The county has responded to the call with inspired efforts that have pushed the community forward more quickly than expected.
Clean-up of physical damage has been a visible mark of success. Out-of-town visitors travelling on some previously ravaged streets might have no way of knowing that a tornado had just torn through the area. Liberty Street in the City of Newburgh is a clear example of repair. The street that looked apocalyptic ten days ago has already shed its massive amounts of debris and is at least visually restored to its former glory.
This same street just a week ago initiated the emotional rebuild that is so vital to the area when four businesses held barbecues and gave away free food. Newburgh Legislator Kevindaryan Lujan said it was amazing how people pulled together after the storm.
The emotional rebuild was evident through the kindness of Good Samaritans throughout the area. One man who wanted to remain anonymous gave out hundred-dollar bills and said, “Go get some food for these people.” Walmart and Target opened their doors to provide free food as well. United Way, Safe Homes and RECAP all chipped in as well to a community that collectively helped themselves recover.
Still, some streets remain in disarray. Many wires are still dangling dangerously. Some are marked with yellow tape, others are not, and still others have been stretched into loops along the roadsides by trees or limbs that fell nearby. Fixing these problems has cost much time, money, and increased traffic. The Newburgh area will be cleaning up and repairing their damaged electric grid for many months to come.
Despite this fact, Orange County, especially the City of Newburgh, is to be commended for its efforts in repairing the damages from the storm. In time, the area will have the effects of the storm fully behind itself, but until then, praise and appreciation are in order for people’s contributions and labor to the recovery.