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Former WL City Councilor's Hurricane Sandy experience

Lafayette area residents can help a family in New York displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

When former West Lafayette City Councilor Patti O’Callaghan told the story of her family to the owner of Nine Irish Brothers, he volunteered his help. The restaurant is dedicating 10% of sales from noon until 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, to the O’Callaghan Family Relief Fund.

Patti was staying with her mother for a wedding the week before Hurricane Sandy hit and decided to weather the storm with her. The two fled to her sister’s house, just outside the evacuation zone.

“When the storm surge came, the ocean was rushing down her block. I’ve never seen anything like it. The ocean was pushing cars out of the way, bringing debris with it. It was something I’ve never experienced.”

Five homes in the O’Callaghan family were damaged or destroyed, displacing 20 people. In addition, Patti says her relatives lost a dozen cars to the flooding. She says most of them have relocated to Brooklyn, temporarily.

“Everybody is safe and we’re really grateful for that, but we’re paying rent while those with mortgages are still paying mortgages, and clean-up is just… is just unbelievable.”

Patti says her mother's basement totally flooded and water came up about 12 inches on the first floor, so everything was destroyed in those areas. She thinks that house will probably have to be bulldozed.

Patti says her family is grateful for the help Nine Irish Brothers’ owner Jerry O’Bryan is giving them.