A KILKENNY man living in New York has spoke of the horrific conditions that he and his family are forced to endure after the onslaught of Hurricane Sandy which blew the ceiling off his sitting room.
Aidan Cottrell is originally from Knocktopher but has been living in Yonkers, New York for the past 11 years. “I work in the engineering department in a hospital in Long Island. When the storm came people were battening down the hatches. It was only in the aftermath that the realisation hit that it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Power has been gone since last Monday week and the stores are running out of goods and people are panic buying. There are a lot of people out here. I heard of one woman who saw her two children been washed away,” he said.
The 40-year-old who is married to an Irish American Renee was working at the Winthrop University Hospital when the hurricane struck. “I work in the engineering department and we are responsible for the smooth running of the hospital. At around midday a tree came down and knocked out the power and we had to rely on the back up generator and were stuck in the hospital for 48 hours,” he said.
Thankfully his two young children Ciara (five) and Reegan (three) are being cared for by their grandparents who are staying in a small hotel room. “My wife is a social worker and she is stuck in her workplace as well. We live in a three-storey house and when I went back part of the roof was blown off and was in the pizzeria next door.
“It is all still pretty grim and when the sun goes down the city is just cold and black. It is crazy to see it so dark. I am back sleeping in my house but that is mainly for security reasons as there is looting going on. There are people starting to act a bit crazy and I had to take today off work to try and get some gas for the car but the main thing is that we are all alive,” he said.
Aidan was also critical of the initial decision to allow the New York Marathon to proceed. “People are dead and without their homes and all the repair work was concentrated on Lower Manhattan. Power is everything. We need to help the working classes. Thankfully they saw sense and the marathon was cancelled,” he added.