Big thanks to all who gave big at Surf & Adventure Co. Words by John Streit. On Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, the face of the East Coast was forever changed by Hurricane Sandy. From North Carolina through New York, widespread structural damage from the massive storm surge and pounding surf compiled billions of dollars of damage. Homes destroyed. Families displaced. Many people lost all of their possessions. Many lost their lives. Monmouth County, N.J. Mother Nature offered up another blow, as this week’s Nor’easter dropped snow on an already desperate situation in New Jersey and New York. With that winter storm looming, Raven Lundy knew time was of the essence should he organize an effort to deliver much-needed relief supplies from the surfing communities between Hatteras Island and Virginia Beach. Raven did just that; and through phone calls to the surf shops of Virginia Beach, the Surf Big, Give Big effort was underway. The crew heads north on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. John Streit photo. The surfing community unified in unprecedented fashion: donating supplies by the truckload from all sides of the area. Warm clothes, blankets, water, cleaning supplies and many more essential items filled up Raven’s Billabong tour bus, WRV’s 32-foot box truck and two more loads in smaller trucks. The caravan departed Virginia Beach on Monday, Nov. 5 and began a heavy-hearted journey to some of the hardest-hit communities in the Northeast. Saxis, Va. Fire Station donations. Another load was dropped on the crew’s return trip home. Many families in our home state lost everything as well. John Streit photo. Starting in the tiny bayside town of Saxis on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the crew — comprised of volunteers from the Wildlyfe crew, The Boxx, Surf & Adventure Co., 17th Street and WRV — dropped off the supplies at more than 10 locations from Virginia to New York. On a mission. John Streit photo. One of the hardest hit communities was Long Beach, NY; the hometown of professional surfer Will Skudin. The ocean came up 13 feet in his town, with violent waves surging into city blocks. Will and his crew courageously rescued his family and other residents from their homes on his jetski as the floodwaters inundated the city streets. The Skudin Family. Brothers Cliff and Will (left, right) and their parents (middle). Raven Lundy photo. The aftermath was heartbreaking, as the contents of every home’s first floor lied in piles on the curb — ruined from the toxic mix of household liquids and sea water. Some houses were knocked off of foundations. Sand covered the streets like an oppressive blanket. The presence of the National Guard in armored trucks and house fires burning in the surrounding blocks added to the weight and severity of the disaster scene. Communities up and down the seaboard were ruined. Eddie Compo photos. Behind Will’s leadership, the boys set up a community distribution site for Long Beach residents to gather essential items ahead of the winter storm. “Liquid Gold,” aka gasoline, was distributed to community leaders who put the fuel to the use of recovering and rebuilding from this historic storm. Note the high-water line on this building. This was on the sound-side of the Outer Banks-like island. Long Beach, NY. Eddie Compo photo. Several sites and many loads were delivered in New Jersey and New York, and the crew returned to Virginia Beach ahead of the pressing Nor’easter. They also returned forever changed by the experience they shared, and the people who they helped to recover from this tragic event. Without power, the Skudins redefine “social networking.” The distribution site, supported by Virginia Beach’s donations, served the needs of scores of Long Beach, NY residents. Raven Lundy photo. The relief effort will be ongoing as these resilent people go about the work of rebuilding their communities. Through the team’s contacts in the Northeast, a more targeted list of needed supplies has been generated and is as follows: COMMUNICATIONS: walky-talkies, mobile hot spots. SUPPLIES: generators, water suction pumps, shovels, utility knives, candles, matches, heavy garbage bags, cleaning supplies, bleach, rubber gloves, flashlights, head flashlights, rubber boots, rubber gloves, bright vests for rescue workers, mops, brooms, power strips, inverters, space heaters,. CLOTHING: rain gear, sweat shirts/pants, coats, waterproof socks, heated socks PERSONAL: blankets, feminine products, adult diapers, sanitary napkins, baby supplies, dry shampoo. Feel free to bring any relief items to Surf & Adventure Co., 577 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. To make a monetary donation to surf industry-support relief organization Waves for Water, visithttp://www.wavesforwater.org/ Thank you. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.