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Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Jets writer recounts horror of Sandy

By Rich Cimini

We're taking a little break from X's and O's to bring you some post-Sandy reality, a heartbreaking story wonderfully written by Dennis Waszak of the Associated Press. Dennis, who covers the Jets for the AP, is one of the good guys in the business. Here is his first-person account of the nightmare:

I was the first to cry.

Not my wife. Not our three kids.

I was standing in our pitch-black basement as water streamed through the broken windows like a waterfall. A bathtub drain gurgled, the slimy sewage quickly pooling in an ominous mess. Just eight weeks after we'd bought our dream house -- three bedrooms, big kitchen, pool, white fence and a finished basement -- Superstorm Sandy was ripping it apart with a fury that was hard to comprehend, along with the rest of our Staten Island neighborhood.

At 9 p.m. Monday, I sent my sister Christina a text message saying our basement was still dry.

Minutes later that all changed. The man cave I couldn't wait to show off to my buddies, the one I'd spent hours working on, was fast being covered in rancid brown muck, beginning with what was once a white carpet. Watching it methodically swallow up the mementos that took us a lifetime to gather, I lost it.

Family photos, clothes, thousands of CDs, furniture. Thirty years of Topps baseball cards my dad gave me each and every Christmas. A copy of nearly every story I'd ever written -- as a budding sports reporter at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, from the Super Bowl and World Series, during 16-plus years with The Associated Press -- all gone.

To read the rest of the story, click here.