Life was starting to return to normal in Valley Stream as the week began, following the destruction left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
By Monday, power had returned to most homes and businesses. Travel was much safer, with traffic lights along Merrick Road, Sunrise Highway and Rockaway Avenue working. Garbage was being picked up. Stores and restaurants in the business district were open again.
But the storm’s aftermath was impossible to ignore. A long line of cars snaked from the Shell station on Merrick Road all the way down Hicks Street. Many large tree limbs still lined the streets. Schools remained closed. Roofers were working at several homes.
It was clear that a sense of normalcy would not soon return for residents in the south end of the village. The storm surge had flooded several streets, including Hungry Harbor Road in the village’s fishhook and some streets in the southwest corner of the Mill Brook neighborhood.
Many homes were damaged, some more than others. Baruch and Shana Moscovici said it would be about a month before they could live in their home again on Hungry Harbor Road, one of the hardest-hit areas. Water had come from the street in front of the house, and from the creek behind it.
The flooding happened quickly, according to Baruch. He said that at 9:30 p.m. on the night of the storm, Oct. 29, the neighborhood was fine. Within 15 minutes, it was underwater. “There was no way of escaping,” he said. “It was beyond scary — nothing you could do.”
In the Moscovicis’ split-level home, water came up to the ceiling of the basement and halfway up the garage walls. It was two steps away from reaching the main level, where the living room and kitchen are. Their Mercedes floated away. They later found it down the block.
Baruch said he would call his insurance adjusters, adding that he was fortunate to have flood insurance but was unsure how much of the damage it would cover. Repairs will take time. “We can’t stay here,” he said. “We’ve got to leave.”
He planned to take his wife and two children, ages 9 and 7, to stay with family in Woodmere.