NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – It’s a challenge to live on the streets, even when the weather cooperates. But when Tropical Storm Irene moved over New York City, it was especially difficult for some of the city’s homeless.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller On The Story

It’s been a long couple of days for Ron Raffel. He was just released from a Staten Island hospital with a leg wound and with nowhere else to go, he hitched a ride and caught a ferry to Manhattan so he could find a drier place to stay.

SEE: Irene’s Wrath | Listener/Viewer Photo

When he got to the other end, a kind cab driver took care of him.

“He goes ‘Where you want to go?’ I say, ‘I want to go to Astor Place.’ He goes ‘Astor Place? Yeah, okay, I’m going,'” Raffel told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

That driver then gave him $10.

But after settling in underground on a bench at the Astor Place subway stop, the cops kicked him out along with Carlos Todos and offered them no alternative.


“They’re walking around with a van. They don’t even say, ‘Come on. Get in the van. We going somewhere. They don’t even say that,” Todos said.

Not having access to a radio, television or other mass media, they had no idea that the entire mass transit system had been shut down and it was too late for them to reach a shelter.