SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Tilted Breezy Point home becomes iconic image of storm devastation

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Harry Mok's  Breezy Point home was tilted on its side after Sandy.THE COURIER/House photo by Maggie Hayes / Below photo by Melissa Chan
Harry Mok's Breezy Point home was tilted on its side after Sandy.

The Mok family will always remember the image of their Breezy Point home knocked off its base and left lopsided for leveling after Sandy.

Not because they called it home for 60 years.

Not because the last memory of the childhood house was of it teetering on its side.

But because the tilted, seaside house, doomed for demolition, became one of the most iconic images of Sandy devastation in the Rockaways.

The family said the photo is constantly replayed in media flashbacks.

“It was the first house people saw when they came in, and now it’s everybody’s file photo,” said Harry Mok, 62.

The faded red house at 102 W. Market Street came close to careening into an adjacent home during the superstorm when rising waters lifted it off the ground. It came to a halt instead on top of a brick barrier between the two residences.

“It was like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” said Mok. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The city later condemned and razed the corner home, but it was a fate better than the shoreline house behind it, Mok said, which was completely carried out into the ocean by fierce storm waves.

“The old foundations were compromised,” he said. “They just didn’t have the strength.”

Mok said summers with his wife and three kids were spent at the beach house, which was in his wife’s family for six decades. The Flushing resident planned to eventually retire there.

Now only a plot of sand greets him when he returns once a week to fetch the mail.

“It was a total loss,” he said. “But we’re going to rebuild in the same spot.”

A slow application process is currently keeping shovels from hitting the ground, Mok said. He doesn’t expect construction to be finished until after next summer, and neighbors anticipate an even later move-in date.

“On the bright side,” he said, “from my porch, I’ll have a view of the water for a while.”

 

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