What is life like in Lower Manhattan after days without power following the brunt of Hurricane Sandy? Turn on any news station and you’ll be able to hear the stories of people in distress without gas, power and the normal abundance of food selections at their disposal, searching desperately for the aforementioned.
But you won’t hear about those searching – not for power or food – but for bodies, on Staten Island as a large percentage of the “forgotten borough” is still under water three full days after Sandy reared her destructive head.
The death toll from the hurricane is currently at 38, with the toll in Staten Island the highest of them, clocking in with 17 dead and hundreds still missing.
We bared the “forgotten borough” jokes for decades, and even gritted teeth as Twitter jokes offered us up as sacrifice to Sandy in exchange for immunity in the wake of the storm, but never in the time of a grave natural disaster would we ever dream our current state a reality.
I am writing this from the comfort of my home that by the will of God was spared the wrath of Sandy, but with limited power and gas my thirst for information about what is going on around me is not being answered by half-assed news reports.
An abundance of channels with around the clock coverage are simply glaring over the fact that 55 percent of this island is still under water. More people in Staten Island are without power than on any other borough and we will be the last to see a restoration of power, with estimates ranging from at the very least 7-10 days for those who are still without it.
To compound the devastation of the hurricane in Staten Island, 350,000 gallons of fuel have spilled as a result of Sandy and is washing up on our shores and we are deliberating opening up for a marathon this weekend to aid in our revival of normalcy? This is hardly a clean up that can be done with a dustpan and broom.
We are in a post-apocalyptic state.
But you wouldn’t know that if you only watched the news.
Desperation is beginning to set in for many trapped in flooded areas on nights with temperatures dipping below 40 degrees and every single news coverage is about the two young boys that went missing (and were later found dead.) A tragic tale it is, but there are so many more lives that will be lost if Staten Island doesn’t get the assistance it needs, quickly.
Looting, oil spills, floods, the whole city is underwater and there is no help on its way.
Staten Islanders who are also without due to the storm are pooling together to help one another because there is NO HELP from anywhere else.
Hundreds are missing and many, many more are presumed trapped and maybe even dead. Stagnant waters that will soon begin to breed bacteria remain unattended to, as hundreds are without homes or unable to salvage the items they can.
The trouble stretches clear across to Long Island, where hundreds have lost everything and are wading helplessly in floodwaters assessing their damages and longing for help from anyone, anywhere with anything that they can.
But how can we get the help we need if the camera crews aren’t capturing the real grunt of the destruction? Manhattan has no lights, the railways are down, we understand. But ENTIRE COMMUNITIES have been washed out to sea, and nobody can even hear our pleas for help.
We were OK with being the forgotten borough before, but we are here waving our injured arms frantically asking for help.
Rachel is the Associate Editor and Senior Style Writer for GlobalGrind.com, Staten Islander, proud graduate of a SUNY school, and as sarcastic as they come. Follow her on Twitter for random daily ramblings @MiissHislop
Check out some information below on how you can begin to help Staten Island rebuild.
– Have photos of your damage? Be sure to send them to local television stations and demand that we are forgotten no more.
– Staten Islanders were told to gather for free food and water from the city at 3 p.m. at two drop off points: Mill Road and New Dorp Ln., and at an empty lot at Yetman Ave. and Hylan Blvd. Please feel free to show up at any of these points with donations if possible.
– Staten Islanders in the Midland Beach, Ocean Breeze and other East Shore communities need your help. Still without power, and some with their homes damaged or in ruins, thousands are suffering in the cold without food, water or other essentials. They are asking for donations of: Clothing, blankets, food, towels, water, pet food and anyone willing to volunteer at the site is urged to report to Rab’s. Via:SILive
– Staten Island residents affected by the storm can begin to fill out their FEMA applications here.
–Find out additional information about food and water distribution sites throughout the city here.
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