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Cold Snap Hits Sandy-Ravaged Staten Island Hard

Staten Island Sandy Relief Tent

A tent is set up for those left in the cold by damage from Superstorm Sandy on Staten Island. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The brutal cold snap Monday night was hitting residents hard on Staten Island, as they continue to struggle more than two months after Superstorm Sandy.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the bitter blast has only added to their frustrations.

The snow was falling on Staten Island Monday night, as the temperatures plummeted.

With the coldest air in the past two years moving into New York, the already-struggling Sandy
victims were wondering how much more they could take.

“This is New York, and there are people freezing here. No heat, no hot water, no kitchens, no bathrooms,
can’t even take a shower. Can’t even go to the bathroom and wash your hands,” said Staten Island resident Anthony Marotto. “And there’s so many people down here like that.”

Marotto has been working for months to help his friends restore their homes. But the New Year has brought a new wave of both despair and determination – people are committed to rebuilding, but lamenting the tough conditions the winter brings.

“I’ve been living here for 22 years. I set my roots down here. It’s the first house I bought, and I ain’t giving it up,” said Steve Sumner. “I ain’t giving it up to the weather, I ain’t giving it up to the government, I ain’t giving it up to anyone.”

People in New Dorp have been relying on a tent for relief. People can get food, warm up, and even stay there overnight.

“We eat at the tent, we watch TV at the tent, we hang out, we mingle,” said Anthony Gambino. “What are you going to do? Got to try to make good of a bad situation, and the cold is going to make it bad, worse.”

The forecast high for Tuesday is just 26, Wednesday 23, Thursday 25, Friday 31, and Saturday 27. Wind chills overnight Monday into Tuesday were expected to make it feel as if it were 0 to 5 degrees.

So one group had space heaters set up, and the volunteers manning this tent were ready for an influx of people seeking relief.

“Grin and bear it,” Gambino said. “Bundles, layers, tent, close to the heat.”

He offered simple survival tips as these people who have already suffered enough braced for even more
hardship.

Nearly 1,500 Staten Island residents remain displaced from their homes.

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