After three days of driving, Tennessee Task Force 1 rolled into New York on Thursday.
The city that never sleeps is still crippled from Sandy's strike. Bumper to bumper traffic made a drive three times longer than it should have been.
"This is when it really gets tough," explained Task Force Leader Charles Smith.
The team woke up on a New Jersey military base with a 4 AM wakeup call and a briefing on the day ahead. FEMA planners decided to send the team to Nassau County, just outside New York City where they've been told they'll be searching.
"This team is a good team. So let's get out there and do what we're designed to do and that's to serve the public," said Smith.
The crew got their gear in order, picked up their radios and loaded up for the 102 mile drive to Long Island.
There was a renewed energy among the team members, even after three days on the road and more than 1,400 miles traveled.
"Anytime we know we have a mission or we know we're going to be able to do something, we're right out there," said Task Force Spokesperson Chief Michael Putt.
West Broadway in Long Beach, New York is one of the hardest hit areas. Some people didn't take the storm seriously and rode it out. When it was all over many
Jamie Smith lost her car and her home. She rode the storm out, narrowly escaping the rising water.
"The water just started pouring through the walls we had to climb through my bedroom window," recalls Smith.
People were lining up at the closest supermarket, looking for some fresh water and food. With the power out, everyone was looking to charge their phones.
Smith is glad she's safe, but is having a hard time dealing what she has lost.
The cleanup effort is going to continue here for weeks. People say there's a real sense of community and neighbors are helping neighbors.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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