Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast a year ago Tuesday and while the Hudson Valley was affected by the storm, the worst of it hit the New York City area. In the aftermath of the storm, hundreds of volunteers from our area joined in the recovery process As YNN's Meredith Zaritheny tells us, it's an experience that will stick with them forever.
HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. -- "We were just trying to get the supplies out as fast as we could," said JJ Finn, a Red Cross volunteer.
For JJ Finn, a volunteer with the Red Cross, marking one year since Superstorm Sandy is bittersweet.
"It's still tough down there for a lot of people we worry about that them," said Finn.
The Red Cross warehouse in Middletown was the main staging hub for distributing trucks loads of supplies and organizing thousands of volunteers in the aftermath of Sandy.
These shelves are full now, but last year at this time, volunteers worked around the clock to distribute supplies to areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. Volunteers say what they saw will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
"It is very heartbreaking. It was very hard especially seeing the kids that were affected," said Brian Gerber, a Red Cross volunteer.
Considered one of the largest domestic response since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, an estimated 17,000 Red Cross volunteers from across the U.S. helped victims and many are still rebuilding.
"People are still helping to rebuild homes, make playgrounds, make gardens, so you're still seeing that affect of how everyone came together," said Gerber.
"It was challenging, it was very rewarding knowing that all the efforts we were doing was helping the folks down there," said Gerber.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that New York State will be getting more than $2 billion in federal aid to help victims of Sandy.