Relief Continues To Pour Into Staten Island Amid Massive Clean-Up Effort
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The massive clean-up and relief effort continued Tuesday on Staten Island, more than a week after Superstorm Sandy devastated the borough.
Sanitation crews have already removed 60,000 tons of storm debris, CBS 2′s Tony Aiello reported. But as one pile of trash is removed, another seemingly pops up in its place.
Residents spent Tuesday removing water-logged belongings, furniture and carpet and throwing out destroyed appliances.
In Oakwood Beach, some residents said they were overwhelmed by the clean-up effort they had to undertake.
“We lost everything, as you can see,” Shari Walters told Aiello. “My friend’s boyfriend called me up and said ‘I’ll have a lot of hands down for you today.’ And here they are!”
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Among the volunteers helping at Walters’ house on Tuesday were a group of teachers from Staten Island’s P.S. 4.
The volunteers helped rip out ruined carpet and take down the drywall destroyed in the flooding.
“It’s a great spirit right now, they needed us and we needed to help,” teacher Ruby Freeman told Aiello.
Some residents said the damage to their homes was put in perspective with the loss of a father and son who lived at 72 Fox Beach Ave.
“We’ll recover from this, but how do you ever recover from death?” resident Randy Downer told Aiello.
Meanwhile, the grassroots relief effort continued in hard-hit Staten Island, with neighbors, fellow New Yorkers and even some volunteers from hundreds of miles away pitching in.
The New York Public Library canceled its annual black tie fundraiser Friday and instead brought the food to a partially flooded catering hall in New Dorp to feed residents who still do not have power.
“We hope that it helps the people here,” Angela Montefinise of the New York Public Library told CBS 2′s Emily Smith.
Sam Johnson lost his job last week at a non-profit that feeds the needy. He said he used up his remaining supply to help out on Staten Island.
“I have meatloaf,” Johnson told Smith.
One man said he was grateful for the help.
“Everything got ruined, my car, everything,” a Staten Islander said.
Some volunteers even grilled on the back of a truck to help bring a hot meal to those in need, Smith reported.
“Brooklyn’s Finest Pizzeria on Hyland Boulevard, they donated everything for free,” volunteer Anthony Aglio said.
The “Yellow Bus Of Hope” from North Carolina arrived on Sand Lane on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a former Staten Islander looking for a way to help.
“She wanted to send me a package. Her sending me a box of stuff turned into sending me a box of stuff but who knew it was going to be 28 feet,” Nannette D’Agostino said of her friend Danielle Schaeffer.
“We’re basically helping the people who lost their homes and everything they lost from Hurricane Sandy and trying to bring it back to them,” a little girl helping out told Smith.
The Yellow Bus Of Hope is full of donations entirely from people in Wilmington, N.C. The driver said he will be making three trips this week to help as many displaced residents as possible.