DANVERS — Danvers High graduate Kyle McCullough and his wife, Jordan, were married Sept. 15 in Rockaway, N.Y., a close-knit, working-class community on a narrow peninsula on the bottom of Long Island, where they chose to settle.
Two months later, the town was battered by Hurricane Sandy, especially hard-hit by flooding, fire and power outages.
This past weekend, the couple visited Danvers, looking for a weekend of relief from the hardships on Long Island. But they found much more than they’d ever expected.
Yesterday, they headed back to Rockaway with a U-Haul truck filled with supplies — bags of clothing, boxes of bleach and cleaning supplies, cartons of nonperishable foods — from friends and strangers who heard about the plight of the Rockaway community in a Facebook posting.
For the McCulloughs, the storm damage was all too personal. The restaurant where they held their wedding rehearsal dinner was wiped out. The rectory of the church where they were married, St. Francis de Sales, was damaged by a fire.
“Our church is intact, but it’s under a lot of water,” Jordan McCullough said. “They are setting up, and this is where we are donating everything to.”
The couple’s apartment is on a third floor, and their belongings escaped intact, but they have no heat or electricity. Kyle describes it as “unlivable.”
They’ve been told it could be six to eight weeks before they have power. Four feet of sand clogs many roads in Rockaway, Kyle said.
The salon where Jordan works in Breezy Point, a community that saw approximately 80 homes destroyed by wind-whipped fires the night of Hurricane Sandy, has been flooded and is tilting to one side. Even if the salon were usable, her clients have been displaced.
Jordan’s mother has also been displaced due to water damage.