The Panebianco family pump water from their flooded home in Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn and do clean-up hours after tropical cyclone Sandy battered the neighborhood. Photo by Jie Jenny Zou. October 30,2012

My classmate and I headed to Gerritsen beach in southern Brooklyn yesterday to assess damage hours after tropical cyclone Sandy touched down in the tri-state area, especially flooding small, flat communities such as this one.

Check out our story here.

Unlike Coney Island, where mandatory evacuations began on Sunday afternoon, Gerritsen Beach residents didn’t get the note to evacuate from some emergency response workers until 10 p.m. Monday night, hours after the storm surge at 7 p.m.

The extent of the damage from flooded basements, out of commission cars, and destroyed foundations, was real. So was the fear of the residents I spoke to including one resident who was in his basement at the time the storm surge hit and quickly filled up the room with flood waters that went up to his chin.

I intend to follow up with this story as power is restored to these areas and as they prepare to file for FEMA claims. If you were affected by Sandy, please contact me @JieJennyZou on Twitter via Direct Message or by email at jiejenny.zou[a]gmail.com