“It's something that you would think goes on in some far off place, not New York City.”
As the relief efforts continues on Staten Island with no end in sight, firefighter and disciple Bill Patsakos, gives a little insight to the occurrences on the night of Hurricane Sandy's arrival. Bill, a loving husband and father of four school-age boys, was stationed in one of the boats patrolling Staten Island's northeastern coastline at the height of the storm. He recounts a 14-foot wall of water that surged a mile and a half into Staten Island and compared the onslaught's magnitude to the likes of Katrina or a large tsunami. The stories that followed were equally horrifying.
“We responded to numerous calls for rescue on the night of the hurricane. Hundreds of homes were devastated and 43 lives were lost in NYC and many more [bodies] will be found. People's possessions were washed away, their homes, their memories, this has been a devastating and trying event for many people. At one point the water was up to our necks a mile and a half in. We had to commandeer boats wherever we could find them. We rescued numerous people from rooftops. Policemen were lost. A retired firefighter died after breaking his neck. [There are] harrowing stories of children being lost. Many of the deceased were elderly, having been trapped in their homes. We've had numerous fires break out during and after the storm. There are tens of thousands people without electricity and running water. We had to evacuate hospitals that lost power. It's something that you would think goes on in some far off place, not New York City.”
After working all week to keep Staten Islanders safe following the storm, Bill spoke with obvious exhaustion and fatigue. We are grateful for his service to the Staten Island community.
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