Entire swathes of the East End became ghost towns last week as wind whipped up clouds of dust from dry fields, leaving an inch-thick layer of dust on every surface. Seeing no hope for the future in the surrounding wasteland that used to be fertile fields, thousands of residents began the long, exhausting trek westward in the forlorn hope of something better over the horizon. Many were down to their last $10.
The Hamptons Police Department, its ranks depleted after many of its own officers left to join the exodus, was overwhelmed by the job of clearing the highways of broken down cars, as desperate refugees abandoned their Model Ts and tried to continue on foot. For some, it was a deadly decision.
“They might have had a shot until that cold snap came through,” says Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch. “Once the temperatures went down and the wind picked up, it was hopeless. Of course, it didn’t help that none of them had had a square meal in 3 months.” Hirsch noted sadly that victims would have done better to stay with their rusted, useless Model Ts. “At least they provide a little shelter.”
Meanwhile, according to Hirsch, the Hamptons Police are grappling with preventing vandalism amid the empty buildings left behind by the fleeing hordes. “Already, we’ve had over 35 fires, clearly arson,” says Hirsch. “But with our skeleton force of officers, we have no means to investigate.” Hirsch predicts that it will only be a few short months before the East End will be completely uninhabited.