Phish Frontman Trey Anastasio Gives Out Supplies To Hurricane-Hammered Red Hook Residents
The Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts in Red Hook, Brooklyn continued yesterday, and it was heartening to see an abundance of volunteers and emergency supplies pouring into the waterfront neighborhood. Outside the flooded 158-year-old Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, volunteers distributed blankets, food, and clothing to beleaguered hurricane victims, who received a little extra help from Phish frontman Trey Anastasio.
Anastasio and his wife pulled up to the church yesterday afternoon with bags of diapers, Fluffhead and batteries, and handed them out along the line of people waiting for supplies. The guitarist told us that a friend of his lives in Red Hook, and "his house is under water. I've spent the day helping him, pulling out dry wall. It's really bad here. Really bad." 120 volunteers had showed up to help at the church, which had begun directing would-be volunteers elsewhere.
Most homes in Red Hook showed less structural damage than in places like Far Rockaway and Staten Island, but the flood damage was extensive, and as of Sunday thousands were still without power. Fortunately, there was no shortage of volunteers eager to help; at the Red Hook Recovery Volunteer Effort, a line of volunteers wrapped around the corner, and organizers scrambling to coordinate transportation to get them to other parts of New York City. Some retail establishments had reopened—the wine shop Botta di Vino was offering free internet, cell phone charging, and warmth to anyone and everyone; and Baked, Hope & Anchor were also open for business. "Acupuncturists Without Borders" were also offering free acupuncture.
IKEA, which got through Sandy without a scratch (its ground floor is parking, so no flooding damaged the merchandise), was also busy yesterday, and the retailer said it had been donating supplies to The Red Hook Initiative. And on November 12th and 13th, IKEA will hold a hiring event for displaced Red Hook residents. It's expected that the need for volunteers will increase during the week, as many New Yorkers return to work, so if you're interested in helping, here's a good place to start.