A Cold Winter in Coney
Along a legendary boardwalk, a keeper of the freak-show flame races to reopen by summer.
Dick Zigun was ready for a two-foot flood. In three decades at Coney Island, every hurricane he had seen blew through like a tourist passing the boardwalk on its way up the coast—and he was not afraid of Sandy. Rather than evacuate, he spent the night at home on West Fifteenth Street, a few blocks from the water, his pick-up parked outside in case of emergency. By the time he realized emergency was here, it was too late to run.
“When the flood came, it came fast,” says Zigun. “When I saw water pouring in under the door, over the sandbags, the water was already knee-high in the street.”
Fearing the flood might knock him over, he waded across the road to take shelter in a friend’s second-story apartment. From the second floor, they watched the water—three feet high and rising. Four. Five.