Staten Island appears to have been one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, and, as officials dig out and reveal the true level of destruction in the New York City borough, tensions among residents are starting to rise.
Of the more than 70 deaths attributed to Hurricane Sandy, at least 19 took place in Staten Island, the Atlantic Wire reported. That number could still grow as police and rescue officials begin searching homes for victims and survivors.
Though Staten Island have seen enduring power outages and widespread flooding, residents there say they have been overlooked for rescue and recovery efforts. As ABC News reported, the situation is causing anger to grow as residents plead with elected officials for help, begging for food, clothing, and gasoline days after Hurricane Sandy struck.
“We’re going to die! We’re going to freeze! We got 90-year-old people!” Donna Solli told visiting officials. “You don’t understand. You gotta get your trucks down here on the corner now. It’s been three days!”
More than 80,000 Staten Island residents remained without power three days after the hurricane struck. Many homes were wiped out by what residents described as a super-sized wave of water as much as 20 feet high that rushed into streets like rapids.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano planned a visit to Staten Island, but residents have still felt slighted. The New York City Marathon, which starts at Fort Wadsworth, has caused controversy as some rescue officials and storm refugees were bumped from hotels in favor of runners. One Staten Island hotel owner fought back, however, refusing to kick out victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The devastation is Staten Island is part of a storm estimated to have caused a $50 billion economic impact on the nation.