You meet the nicest people in the toughest situations. I met Baris Octurk and his family while shooting some of this flood footage do to the severe weather in Wayne N.J on Fayette Ave.
It is amazing what the human spirit can contend with in such unbelievable conditions. Baris is a man you can’t help but like the moment you meet him. His house, his neighborhood and everything he owns are under water, yet this man smiles. While our ferryman and his trusted boat Rocky guide us through Venice-like streets Baris keeps his sense of humor. I guess you have to after living on the second floor of your home because your whole first floor is under water. Baris said that the water was three feet higher as you can clearly see in the video. The entire neighborhood has been living under these conditions for three weeks now.
When the momentary spotlight fades and the rest of the world has long forgotten the damage of the rising waters, those in peril continue to suffer its devastation. Help no longer comes quickly and the human spirit becomes tested. It is then that one comes to know the power within as they fend for themselves.It is then that a community must join together to save itself.
These floods have taken just about everything this man owns. Still the man smiles big and proud holding in his arms what means the most to him. As Rocky and his ferrymen leave me on shore (dry road). I was left in awe at the whole scene. I would like to take the time to thank Baris, AJ and the whole Octurk family for taking the time and allowing us into their home during what must be very trying times. I would also like to thank his neighbor Reef for the use of Rocky. I really do hope the waters dry quickly, and AJ you will have your playground back soon.
CNN.COM iReporter-Michael Heslep