Interview with Millie Gonzalez, June 12, 2013

Gonzalez talks about feeling like New Jersey is her home and where she belongs. She also states that crime is very uncommon in her neighborhood in Union Beach. Gonzalez mentions thinking about the damage caused by Hurricane Irene when she first heard Hurricane Sandy was coming. She also states that she and her family were not scared of the storm and tried to prepare as much as they could. Gonzalez talks about getting information from Facebook because it was much faster than checking news websites. She discusses the water around her sister's house in Keansburg rising quickly. Gonzalez describes the damages her sister had faced from the storm. She also talks about the difference in the mood of the community between Keansburg and Union Beach after Hurricane Sandy hit. Gonzalez describes how the days after the storm were in her sister's house. She also mentions that she made no preparations to preserve her home before the storm. Gonzalez talks about the lines at McDonald's after it had finally opened again after the storm. She also mentions how hard it was to get gas and how it wasn't really worth it because there was nowhere to go (most places were still not opened at the time). Gonzalez describes the feelings she endured while trying to cope with the remains of Hurricane Sandy. Gonzalez talks about the sense of community yet sense of anger and frustration given off by the residents in her neighborhood. Gonzalez discusses those of the Gateway Church of Christ coming to assist her and her family. She also discusses the aid given from those at the Borough Hall. Gonzalez discusses having her house gutted but then the process stopped because there was too much damage done. Gonzalez believes that there could not be a way preparations could have gone differently only because a storm of this magnitude was never expected. She also believes the hurricane hit because of Mother Nature reacting to the damage against the Earth. Gonzalez discusses how she feels as though there were not enough local voices heard on the news. She also states that her opinion would change if the president or governor were in the neighborhoods without the presence of cameras. She also talks about the new rules about raising houses and how they relate to her disability in terms of getting in and out of her house.

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