The last storm of the 2012 Hurricane season left a trail of devastation from the Greater Antilles to eastern Canada. Although most of the eastern seaboard was impacted by Sandy, the coastal Mid-Atlantic States received the brunt of her wrath.
How did one local cemetery make it through the Superstorm?
“We were lucky,” says Bill Murphy, Superintendent of the Huntington Rural Cemetery in New York. “When Sandy came through there was no building damage, but we lost two very large and very old trees.” The 50-year old giants stood nearly 40 feet tall, with trunks measuring over two feet in diameter.
“We don’t think the trees landed on any headstones,” says Mr. Murphy, “but when the trees fell over their massive root sections lifted mounds of dirt and toppled over a large granite monument. We don’t think there is any more disturbance than that,” he says.
Because of the urgent need for felled tree removal in other parts of the region, the two huge trees will remain in their horizontal resting position for some time, marking the power of Hurricane Sandy.
The loss of electrical power was another result of Sandy. “We were without electricity at my house for eleven days,” says Mr. Murphy, “and it got cold! We had to live with our son until the power was restored.”
Power was only down at the Cemetery for three days, but when staff turned the computer back on, they wondered if their cemetery data would be affected.
“In times like this, we are glad we back-up our data to a flash drive and store it offsite in a safety deposit box,” says Mr. Murphy. Fortunately, their records management software and data made it through the storm and came back up without any problems.
We’re glad to hear our friends at Huntington Rural weathered the Superstorm—and had peace of mind knowing their digitized cemetery records were safe.
About Huntington Rural Cemetery
Nestled on 40 beautiful grassy acres near the shores of the Long Island Sound is the Huntington Rural Cemetery. The Cemetery, located in the town of Huntington, New York, was established in 1851 and is the final resting place for over 11,000 people.
The Cemetery had its first burial in 1853—William Fleetwood Hull, the son of Isaac and Judith Hull. Little William was just two years, two months, and sixteen days old when he died.
Huntington Rural Cemetery is also the final resting place of:
- Abner Crossman, soldier of the American Revolution
- 176 Civil War veterans
- The Browns of Brown Brothers Pottery fame
- Dr. Walter Lindsay, noted Civil War doctor
- Samuel Ballton, African-American Civil War veteran and former slave, who died in 1917. He was known as the "Pickle King" for his skill in growing cucumbers for the pickle industry.
- Harry Chapin, popular singer and songwriter (“Cats in the Cradle”), who was killed in 1981 on the Long Island Expressway.
The Huntington Rural Cemetery has been a user of Spatial GENERATIONS cemetery management software since 2003.