A ladder was the family's salvation, and when they climbed up, the water was up to the last step. The family also has home video to prove it. Isabella Gorishnay shared that video with Eyewitness News just weeks after Sandy. Just 13 years old, and reeling what she had survived, the family was rescued by boat 12 hours after Sandy hit.
On Monday, there was a ribbon cutting at the same house on Mason Avenue in Midland Beach. The house was rebuilt thanks to three groups: Zurich Insurance, Tunnel to Towers and St. Bernard Project.
The family has a new kitchen, a new bathroom?everything, but they are not moving in just now. They need to build a second floor, and put the house on brick.
Instead, Olena will keep her family in a rented home in Dongan Hills. It isn't that they aren't grateful for all the work and volunteer effort, it is just that the house is still a low-lying bungalow in a neighborhood where people lost their lives, and homes are still not fixed.