Sandy: In Stony Point, a trail of destruction amid the trailers
Andy Lopez carried two garbage bags filled with belongings from the Ba Mar trailer park home where Hurricane Sandy tore his roof off and planted a tree in his bedroom.
"We didn't get the insurance," the 30-year-old Lopez told a neighbor Wednesday morning, staring blankly at the one-story structure just feet from the Hudson River's edge in Stony Point.
Lopez shared the home with Yesenia Lopez, 30, and their three children, ages 11, 2 and 5 months. He and Yesenia had saved for years to purchase the $30,000 house. They moved in five months ago, he said.
Superstorm Sandy photos in Hudson Valley
VIDEOS: Rye Playland still recovering from Sandy damage | Six months after Sandy | House approves $50.7B for Sandy aid
MORE: 5 best weather apps for iOS | Forecast
"That's my kids' room right there. There's no roof," said Yesenia, a warehouse worker. "We got a few bags of clothes out. They're all wet, but at least we can wash them and still wear them. Everything else is gone."
The Lopezes were able to salvage some juice left in the fridge. Their green Nissan Maxima in the driveway held everything they have left.
"Everything we had, we invested here," Andy Lopez said. "We were trying to get insurance, but we needed to save up money for that. We didn't have it after we bought the house."
Throughout Ba Mar, the storm surge had littered the streets with boats wrapped in blue plastic as if they were lawn ornaments.
Dirt and mud lined the kitchen floor at Albert and Terry Mann's home of 13 years.
"We worked so hard for everything we have here," said Terry Mann, 77.
The blue carpet squished underneath her boots with every step.
"I had Christmas gifts in the closet. They're all gone," Terry Mann said. "I was just able to save a few clothes that were in the top dresser drawers, that's it."
Nakia Powell, 19, was passing out small strips of lined paper with the phone number for FEMA written in pencil. She has several friends who lost their homes, she said.
"I just wanted to come and help out," Powell said. "It's horrible. I still don't have power at my house, but a couple of my friends' homes were destroyed. They need as much help as they can get."
Community members -- allowed back to their homes for a few hours Wednesday to collect belongings -- were planning a 3 p.m. meeting at the Stony Point Ambulance Corp. building on Route 9W, where a shelter has been open for displaced residents.
"We have to care about ourselves and pull together and protect ourselves," said Jonathan Roberts, 50, a postal worker who has been living in the trailer park for about a year.
Jaime Navas, 32, packed up his family's Honda Odyssey with a few dress shirts he found hanging in a closet.
"We lost a lot of stuff over here," Navas said. "Everything inside is wet, it's really bad. I don't think this house is good anymore."
A native of El Salvador, Navas moved to the United States in 1999. He brought his wife, Marisol, 34, and two kids, Karla 12, and Omar, 15, to live with him four years ago.
"We just lived here for a few months. I spent about $9,000 doing renovations. It's sad," Navas said. "This is the home I worked on for my family, the money I saved for years is in here."
Nearly 20 of Navas' relatives also live in the park, in six different houses, and are now homeless, he said. They plan to stay at the ambulance shelter until they figure out a plan.
"We just can't believe this is happening," said Nancy Collado, 56, who broke down in tears while staring at the place she's called home for the past 27 years. "It's just unreal."