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Staten Island’s Struggle with Sandy

November 03 2012 Blog

Hurricane Sandy – October 29-30, 2012

Heavily damaged storm areas on Staten Island coast

Tanker up close on Front Street SI NY

 

 

I thought last year’s snow storm was unusual and bad enough but this year’s hurricane has certainly superceded that. We lost power early Monday before the storm even hit, so when it did make landfall that evening it was a frightening event being in complete darkness and no means of communication working. Our reliance on electric power for seemingly everything in our modern world was in itself an enlightening experience. We felt isolated, helpless and afraid…even while fortunately being surrounded with family.  We spent the night huddled around our candles and crank radio and listened to the news reports but sadly (as usual) heard nothing about our island and what was going on.  What we did hear was certainly not good news. Reports of fires in the Rockaways and unprecedented flooding in downtown Manhattan with hospitals being evacuated and a crane precariously dangling from a high rise in mid-town Manhattan.

We wondered how our own nearest hospital was faring as it is perilously located near the water between Capodanno and Hylan Blvd. We listened to our police dispatch radio and anxiously heard NYPD and FDNY struggle to rescue people trapped in flooded homes with live wires down around them who sadly became victims themselves. We heard disturbing communication over the police radio that Father Capodanno Blvd and Hylan Blvd was under water as police and fire couldn’t use that route to rescue anyone. Needless to say it was a restless insomniac night filled with worry for us all as to what the storm would bring come morning.

The day after the storm we couldn’t wait to get outside and be in the light to find out what had happened around us so we jumped in my car to charge our dead cell phones and do a little “recon” work.  Several massive trees were down intruding in our neighbors homes and blocking roads with vast impassible flooding everywhere. We didn’t get very far as the ocean is only a mile to our east and south (without a storm surge) but we heard on the radio about a tanker washed ashore nearby so we headed north to check that out.  After that, we witnessed and realized the staggering effects of the storm and were shocked and stunned to see the scope of damage to our beloved Island. The excitement of the tanker quickly faded and the seriousness of this storm became a slap in the face as the sadenss and heart breaking news of the loss of life and property around us became apparent.

We all want to know “how can I help?” so we are donating requested items to St. Christopher’s RC church on 130 Midland Ave, S.I., NY.  I’m very proud to mention that my father Edward D. Reuss and my brother Edward M. Reuss, who are retired NYPD are assisting at the FEMA disaster recovery center in Miller Field, New Dorp as I write. They’re helping our fellow Staten Islander’s and neighbors in need with the shadow of my childhood high school behind them in the hard hit New Dorp beach area. That’s all we can do…take one day at a time and help those in need get back on their feet and start the long road ahead to healing. Big thanks to the NYPD, NYFD and all the first responders that risk their lives for our safety everyday!

Dad (Edward) & Brother (Eddie) in Miller Field, New Dorp, Staten Island

Trees uprooted on Front Street SI NY

© 2017 Christine M Reuss