CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jared Brotsky was shocked by the scene: houses destroyed on every street, piles of debris lining the streets, water damage everywhere he looked.
"It's one thing to see it on the news, but to see it in person is another thing," he said.
Brotsky, a senior airman in the West Virginia National Guard, was sent to New York City last week with seven other National Guard members from West Virginia. Brotsky is from Teays Valley.
The small team has been working in Brooklyn and Queens, helping residents recover from Hurricane Sandy.
They were summoned by a request from New York on Saturday. Within five hours, the seven guard members had flown out of Charleston with two Humvees and were "boots on ground" in New York.
"This is what I joined the Guard for, to help my state but also the whole country," Brotsky said.
Brotsky, 21, has been a member of the West Virginia National Guard for about three years. This is the first time he has been sent out of state.
He and the rest of his team have been helping local crews restore power for the thousands of New Yorkers still without electricity and heat more than a week after the storm — and now in the aftermath of the snowstorm that swept through the city this week.
Far Rockaway, in Queens, was one of the hardest hit neighborhoods in the storm. The four-block area on a peninsula was overwhelmed by water from the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Jamaica Bay on the other.