A Cold Winter in Coney

February 06, 2013 at 10:31 am


Part of a week-long series by Narratively storytellers: 100 Days Later


Dick Zigun was ready for a two-foot flood. In three decades at Coney Island, every hurricane he had seen blew through like a tourist passing the boardwalk on its way up the coast—and he was not afraid of Sandy. Rather than evacuate, he spent the night at home on West Fifteenth Street, a few blocks from the water, his pick-up parked outside in case of emergency. By the time he realized emergency was here, it was too late to run.

“When the flood came, it came fast,” says Zigun. “When I saw water pouring in under the door, over the sandbags, the water was already knee-high in the street.”

Fearing the flood might knock him over, he waded across the road to take shelter in a friend’s second-story apartment. From the second floor, they watched the water—three feet high and rising. Four. Five.

Dick Zigun, the self-proclaimed “Mayor of Coney Island”. Photo by Emon Hassan.

When the tide ebbed after midnight, Zigun, a grizzled fifty-nine year-old, went home to grab something he’d forgotten in his hurry: his cat. He found Buddy floating on his mattress, safe and dry, but “a little freaked out.”

Read the full story and continue following the 100 Days Later series on the Narratively site.  View more of Emon Hassan‘s Coney Island photographs on the Narratively blog.

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