WESTCHESTER, N.Y. -- One year ago today, on Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit Westchester.
County residents recall the hurricane's destruction with heavy hearts.
Westchester suffered three casualties during the hurricane - two of them children. Homes were damaged and destroyed, streets and parks were flooded, and power was lost for weeks.
Bill Gheduzzi of Irvington, who co-owns his family's Mar-Vera Corp. construction company, spent 12 "dark and cold" days with his family following Sandy's arrival. He kept his business going, but came home to flashlights and a chilly house every night.
"We were without power for almost two weeks and we own a property in Hastings where power was also out for a while," Gheduzzi said. "My daughter was in California and came home to no power, even though we told her to stay there. Even the dog was going crazy. We've had storms before, but the (aftermath) was tough."
Rob McCarthy of Peekskill recalls being fortunately exempt from the damage.
"We were actually one of the lucky ones up in Peekskill. We had an evergreen fall behind the house which landed on our deck but caused no damage - lost power for two days, but that was about it," he said.
McCarthy added, "We really got away lucky. I just remember driving to work the next morning down Route 9, and seeing a lot of the devastation that occurred in the towns between Peekskill and Tarrytown."
Sam Qunsel of Yonkers, co-owner of Madaba's Deli in Hastings, left home on a family trip to his hometown in Jordan four days before Sandy hit. He was concerned about his family and business back home in New York.
"When we heard about the storm we were concerned because there was no power in the area," Qunsel said. "There we were in Jordan with power, and back here my brother (Sal) had to connect a wire to the store next door to keep the business going. I was calling all the time."
Fadia Ezaizat, who was living in Yonkers and working in Hastings-on-Hudson last tall, said her first experience with a hurricane was memorable.
"Hurricane Sandy was actually the first hurricane I have ever experienced," said Ezaizat, who now lives in Kentucky. "I didn't realize the severity of the storm until afterwards seeing all the debris and losing power for a week. I know next time I hear a hurricanes approaching I'll be more prepared. But I don't think I'll have that issue in Kentucky."
Susan Boland-Garcin of Yonkers vividly remembers the force of the storm.
"I recall being terrified of the high winds in the four large trees in my back yard and praying the didn't fall on the house," Boland-Garcin said. "I couldn't find a place I felt safe except in the lower level of my house. We had roof damage with shingles flying off the roof. My house was literally shaking from the high winds."
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