NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — A parade of well wishers and a massive round of applause were waiting for Maria Clark, 95, on Saturday when she returned to her Lindenhurst home six months after being forced out by Superstorm Sandy.
Clarke’s home was destroyed by the storm; she told CBS 2’s Steve Langford that she thought she would never return.
“I couldn’t believe it, I thought I was dreaming,” she said.
An army of volunteers pitched in to help rebuild the home, that Clarke had lived in since the Eisenhower administration, after it was ravaged by the storm.
Her son Eddie, who grew up in the house, struggled to find the right words to thank the strangers who helped rebuild his mother’s home in a matter of weeks.
“It’s overwhelming, it really is. These people have done so much, words can’t describe,” he said.
Volunteers and organizers told CBS 2 that Clarke’s perseverance in the face of such a massive loss was an inspiration.
“If a woman like Marie Clark, at 95-years-old, can survive this kind of mental anguish, then that means to say all of the people I meet on a daily basis that have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy do have that opportunity that Marie has got,” said Michael Gedacht.
Gedacht is the construction manger for a coalition of volunteers and business who are helping to piece together communities that were torn apart by Sandy.
More than six months after the storm volunteers are taking back places like this, one house at a time.
“If you have enough people that can get together and pull in the resources, enough volunteer groups working to come in and work long hours to get it done, it can happen,” one worker said.
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