Flooded, battered and burnt on the night Hurricane Sandy struck, the Breezy Point neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens faces a long and rough road to recovery. But for one family, Christmas arrived on schedule — if only as a quiet, low-key version of the usual raucous celebration. An NBC News team visited the Fraser-Dillon family to share the moment on Christmas Eve — in the only occupied house in their neighborhood ("A rare quiet Christmas Eve in Breezy Point," by David Friedman).
For the Fraser-Dillons — Tom and Kim, their son Mack, 13, daughter Alexa, 19, her boyfriend Brian Kolb, their two dogs Gia and Otis — the evening was a down payment on a new set of post-Sandy memories. But for hundreds of Breezy Point residents, it will take a lot of new moments to displace their still-vivid memories of the night Sandy struck. Also on Christmas Eve, The New York Times offered a look back at the ordeal faced in those dark, wet hours by Breezy Point’s volunteer firemen, its stranded residents, and the firefighters from nearby forces who came to help ("Battered Seaside Haven Recalls Its Trial by Fire," by N. R. Kleinfield).
Now, with Christmas passed and a new year begun, Breezy Point’s scattered residents face the long task of reconstruction. And for one couple — firefighter Rich Whalen and EMT Tracy Rutter — the new year was the beginning of a new life together. Their home was ruined by flooding, and the church was still without heat; but the couple were married nevertheless on December 22, CBS reported ("Breezy Point couple marries after superstorm Sandy," by Tony Guida). Said Rutter: "I think everyone needs a little bit of hope that we are going to pull through this. And we are going to do it one day at a time, and we are going to rebuild."