Along with four other recently elected officials, Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray reflected on the struggles that Hurricane Sandy caused during her most recent term –– and how, she said, the town has recovered since the storm –– at her inauguration last Thursday.
Murray, Councilman Anthony Santino, Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Gary Hudes and Town Clerk Nasrin Ahmad were all elected in November and were sworn in on Jan. 2. They were not the only ones featured during the ceremony at Town Hall Plaza, however; the supervisor welcomed several guests, many of whom were affected by Hurricane Sandy.
The ceremony began with a video presentation that illustrated the devastation that town residents faced on Oct. 29, 2012. An historic flood –– the result of a 10-foot storm surge –– and tropical storm-force winds damaged and destroyed thousands of homes across the South Shore, according to the video, which featured footage of the storm cleanup.
Murray, the town’s first woman to be elected supervisor in 2003, said on Thursday that Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath were among the town’s saddest moments for residents. At the same time, she said, neighbors cared for one another like family.
“Over the past year, we’ve confronted the aftermath of a natural disaster, we’ve struggled, persevered and continue to recover,” she said. “What became most evident during this time of trial and tribulation was that, indeed, home is not made up of bricks, mortar and lumber. Rather, home is where memories are made.”
The supervisor commended several community members for their actions during Hurricane Sandy and in its wake. In recognition of his leadership after the storm, Island Park Fire Department Chief Anthony D’Esposito received the town’s distinguished service pin. Like so many volunteer firefighters across the town, the supervisor said, D’Esposito trudged through high floodwaters and past damaged utility wires, wind-driven debris and fires to rescue people trapped in their Sandy-slammed homes.