“We realized that the Harbour Club was not just shelter from the storm but a home.”
We are writing with a long overdue “THANK YOU” for your generous offer of emergency shelter at the Harbour Club after Super Storm Sandy severely damaged our home.
We are year-round residents of Seaview on Fire Island, and when Sandy roared over the Island, our home was rendered unlivable, The Great South Bay submerged the electrical and heating system. It took seven months of restoration to make our home safe to live in. When the Suffolk County Executive gave the order to evacuate Fire Island we were able to book a room at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Ronkonkoma. Once the storm was over we were still unable to go home because the mandatory evacuation orders were not yet lifted. When we tried to extend our stay at the Holiday Inn, we were told that our room and every other room in the Hotel was booked and we needed to vacate our room by 11:00 am the next day. We started to call every Hotel and Motel we could get a phone number for. They all were completely booked.
I started to contact our friends to help in the search. When a Seaview friend called you for advice on how to find a short term rental apartment in the Bay Shore-Babylon area, your response was immediate—“No problem! Tell them to call right away…we have a place for them at the Harbour Club.”
When we arrived at the Harbour Club office, the friendly staff worked very hard to get us in by that evening. The maintenance staff worked hard and quickly prepared the apartment.
Once we were settled in and the stress of not having a roof over our head was over, we realized that this was not just shelter from the storm but a home. Soon after we moved in and the extent of the storm damage to both our home and the whole of Fire Island was assessed, we realized that we were going to be here a while.
During our extended stay we got to know the maintenance staff. They are always busy tending to the details that keep this place so fresh. When we had questions we always got friendly responses. Any problems no matter how big or small were tended to quickly and professionally.
When our Fire Island home was finally repaired, and we were able to move back to Seaview in April of 2013 we were sad to leave our ‘adopted community’ at the Harbor Club. After suffering so much damage and loss from Sandy, and then coping with the dislocation, stress and financial burden of trying to restore our home, we were so very lucky to have such a wonderful place to temporarily call home.
Thanks again to you and the Harbour Club organization for your thoughtfulness and assistance at a time when we were literally driven off our Island and out on to the street by Sandy.
Larry Mattiasen and Debra Olive