The Goal Zero Hurricane Sandy Relief Squad has returned to Utah, and yet their homecoming is bittersweet. Dave, James and Jaremy are restless and biting at the bit to return to the cold, dark and now snow covered streets of the Rockaways, New York.
“There is so much more we have to do,” says James. “We want to be back there.”
Dave recalls one of the team’s final days spent giving out kits very vividly. “Within minutes of setting up with Team Rubicon and our truck full of recharging kits, the line of people wrapped around the corner and out of sight. They came from blocks away simply to have the chance at getting light into their houses that night.”
And within 3 hours, the entire 17-foot moving truck was empty – down to the last Lighthouse Lantern.
The team’s final day was by far the most frustrating. As they started packing up the truck with power and lights, rumor spread of mandatory evacuations due to the nor’easter Athena.
“Team Rubicon gave us the call to stay back,” says Jaremy. “This was so hard to hear. As if Hurricane Sandy wasn’t enough, now they’re dealing with freezing temperatures and snow. They need help more than ever.”
With winds nearing 60 mph and snow beginning to pile, came the hard realization the team would be forced to stay in Brooklyn. They heard reports of trees and houses, already weakened by Sandy, snapping under the weight of the wet and heavy snow from Athena. It took all the restraint they could muster to obey the orders from Team Rubicon.
“All we could do was wait for the storm to pass and hope we could make it out before we had to leave,” says James. “In the end, we did all we could but it definitely wasn’t enough.”
Luckily for the people of the Rockaways, two Goal Zero team members and the great men and women of Team Rubicon, remain in New York, providing as many families as they can with portable power and lights.
Goal Zero Nation continues to power the survivors of Hurricane Sandy, and now Nor’easter Athena, one day at a time. Together we can change the world.