Breezy Point couple marries after superstorm Sandy

(CBS News) BREEZY POINT, NY - It is now nearly two months since superstorm Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey. Few places were hit any harder than New York City's Breezy Point -- and few neighborhoods have people living there more determined to re-build their lives, such as one couple from the area.

Tracy Rutter arrived for her wedding in Breezy Point, Queens in a fire truck -- fitting for a veteran EMT who was marrying a longtime firefighter.

"Come hell or high water, this day is going to happen," said Rutter.

Hell and high water came. Superstorm Sandy roared through Breezy Point, Queens nearly two months ago. About 111 homes burned to the ground. Many of the other 2,800 houses were destroyed by floodwater, including the home Tracy Rutter shared with her fiance Rich Whalen.

"Those first couple of weeks," said Whalen, "we were going through two feet of water, just to get down the main road."

It was always their plan to make home here, to marry here and raise their daughter here. Sandy nearly wiped Breezy Point off the map.

"I think everyone needs a little bit of hope," said Rutter, "that we are going to pull through this. And we are going to do it one day at a time, and we are going to rebuild."

St. Thomas More Church is still struggling from Sandy as it has no heat. The Rutter-Whalen wedding was the first since the storm. Monsignor Michael Curran saw it as an omen.

"It's kind of a sign of hope, that the bonds of family life are stronger than any wind or fire or flood," he said.

Those bonds were celebrated in breezy point queens when Tracy Rutter, EMT, married Rich Whalen, firefighter, at St. Thomas More Church.

  • Tony Guida

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