Stephanie Daniels on how the film came about.
Sandy 10 Years After is made from footage both Mark and I shot — he with GoPro on his head (all the 10/29 exterior shots) and me with my phone. I edited the first part on 10/29/12 and kept thinking hey this storm isn’t so bad — and it wasn’t — until the fatal cocktail of high tide, storm surge, and full moon came together. That’s when Mark came running home and told me water was coming up from the canal, and we had to get everything we could upstairs. I shot the water coming into the house and the aftermath.
I seriously couldn’t look at it until this year. Ten years later, and it’s still hard to watch. The next day I was dazed. Going out and shooting the clean-up kept me from total depression: I’d get home and just look at the wreck that had been our offices. Mark lost a beloved 16mm film camera; tapes from years of shows I’d produced (including those that had won Emmys) were destroyed.
But then I called Sandy Central over at the Barrow Mansion, and people I didn’t even know showed up with gloves and cleaning supplies to help us clear out the wreckage (which had to be done quickly so mold wouldn’t creep up to the parlor floor). I was jolted out of my fog by one friend who pretty much took charge and several total strangers who just wanted to be instructed on what to do to help. I will never forget any of those people. Wish I could find a shot of all the photos that got drowned and were hung on our clothesline to dry by a set of those helpful and loving hands.
What you see happening on Sussex Street: neighbors from all over Paulus Hook helping those who were affected the most (between Van Vorst and Warren streets). East of Warren didn’t flood at all.
Mark and I ran extension cords (heavy duty, exterior cables, but definitely not to code!) to several neighbor’s houses behind us on Sussex. That street is on a different grid, and while Grand Street got electricity back in four or five days, Sussex didn’t get it back for six weeks or more. Night two we cooked everything that was in our freezer and invited people to feast under the romantic light of battery-operated TV production LEDs on C-stands.