The death toll continues rise two weeks after superstorm Hurricane Sandy.
A Queens grandfather who slipped down a wet staircase in his darkened home was the 43rd New Yorker to die from the storm.
Albert McSwain, 77, was returning to his home in the Hammel Houses on Oct. 31 with his daughter, Allison Lockett, when tragedy struck.
Adding to the storm’s devastation, a 66-year-old man who lived alone was also found drowned almost two weeks after the superstorm.
David Maxwell was found by police in his living room with his cat, which had also drowned at the yellow Midland Beach home.
As reported by the New York Daily News:
The pair had gone out for some fresh air, and Lockett asked her dad to wait on the stairs while she fetched a flashlight from the apartment they shared. “He was in the middle of the stairs and I told him to just wait,” said Lockett, 49. “That whole stairwell was soaking wet.”
While Lockett looked in the dark for the flashlight, her father slipped on the slippery steps. When she returned, neighbors had found him, paralyzed from the neck down.
“His legs were on the fourth step and his neck was on a couple of bags,” said Tasheem Montgomery, 27, who dragged the victim to his couch while Montgomery’s wife called 911. “He had a bump on the back of his neck.”
McSwain was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died Friday from complications related to the fall, officials said.
As for Maxwell’s neighbor, Dorothy Matthews, 71, told the New York Post that, “It’s so horrible … He was alone in the world except for his cat and his partner in the nursing home.”
“I don’t know who called it in, but it was probably someone who thought the smell came from rotting flesh,” she added. “It smelled so bad out here the past few days.”
The death toll from Hurricane Sandy has risen to 43 after the deaths of Maxwell and McSwain. Sandy devastated the East Coast more than two weeks ago, as many in the Tri-State are still without power and gas rations have been enacted throughout NYC.