Transcript for Sandy Wrath: Breezy Point, Queens in Smoldering Ruins
We turn to a tiny beachfront enclave about 25 miles from lower manhattan, a ton that lost many of its own on 9/11 and faced with a fresh assault last night. 20/20"co-anchor elizabeth vargas made her way to breezy point today. Reporter: Engulfed not only by wind and rain by hurricane sandy but something unexpected, fire. They say dozens, up to 100 homes have been decimated and left in a rubble that is still smoking even today as we walk through it. Today, a stunned beachfront communive firemen and policemen and blue collar workers took stock of what was gone. Not a single thing you can save. Nothing I could identify except the kitchen tile and bathroom tile. That's about it. Reporter: While the cause is unknown there is no question the fire was ferocious. The flames were fed by hurricane-force winds. Hydrants with submerged. Fire engines stranded helplessly blocks away by rising floodwaters. It's like the apocalypse. Reporter: Abc producers were caught there with so many others. They phoned in overnight to "nightline." I'm in a communive 4200 homes out here, this is a community that lost the most people during 9/11. Firefighters and cops and during 9/11. This community was hit horribly tonight. The people here are amazing people. People with a lot of pride to them and they're keeping their pride tonight. People are saying they'll rebuild and somehow they'll get through this. Reporter: Today, the task of getting through this was brutally clear. It will be a long time before anyone in this neighborhood we walked through will be able to call breezy point home. More than 100 homes burned to the ground. Dreams of retirement cottages now reduced to piles of ash. I haven't seen anything like this in my career the only thing that came close to this was 9/11. Reporter: This community, home to so many firefighters and first responders, has seen more than its share of tragedy. 29 of their own killed on 9/11. But, it is a community with bravery and resilience, woven into its dna. We saw it today. We have accompanied ee vac wees on a t holding their breath as they head back to the neighborhood for the first time since the storm hit. Joanne, who didn't lose her home to fire, discovered she lost the lower level of her house to a flood. Thank god we're all alive. Reporter: This is senator charles schumer's home district, he came today as well. Have you ever seen anything like this? Never. I asked 20 firefighters who have had probably 1,000 year or 500 years of experience, asked them if they ever seen anything like this, never have. Reporter: Hard to see any signs good things to come but just as it has done before, breezy point is picking up the pieces. Very strong community. They'll rebuild and come back. Reporter: For "nightline," I'm elizabeth vargas in breezy point, new york.
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