Well, I suppose it’s OK having the Marines invade Staten Island as long as they’re not armed with any weapons or supersized drinks for the parched. That might offend the tiny tyrant in the mayor’s office. But after a week of being stranded, they’ll take any help that actually bothers to come.
Marines invaded Staten Island today, put down their guns and picked up shovels to help devastated residents dig out from Hurricane Sandy’s massive carnage.
Hard-nosed Marines said they were stunned to see the level of devastation in the island’s hardest hit neighborhoods.
“I can’t believe some of the destruction,” said Capt. Eric Flanagan. “It’s bad, but I had no idea it’s this bad.”
Fifty Marines, armed with shovels, axes, chainsaws and hammers, attacked Midland Beach, with the Herculean job of cleaning brush and debris.
Diane Prisinzano, 61, whose house was nearly wiped out by Sandy, said she was grateful for any help she could get. She spray painted “FEMA help, need FEMA:” on the side of her house.
“I never thought I’d see Marines march down my block,” she said.
Garbage piled up eight to 10 feet in some of Staten Island’s most damaged neighborhoods and Marines worked fast to get the debris under control.
“With [another] storm coming on Wednesday, we don’t need garbage flying around,” said local resident Lukas Paulo, 26. “More people could get hurt.”
Here’s a truly depressing report of the squalid conditions in New York’s forgotten borough. Absolutely disgraceful.
There is a growing sense of despair and frustration in Midland Beach as residents lack even basic items such as gloves, cleaning supplies, and flashlights, Accetta said.
“It looks like a war zone, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.”
Chris Digiacomo, another Staten Island resident, said he and his niece have been handing out supplies door to door. Digiacomo said he lives in the Tottenville area of Staten Island and came out to help those in need.
He tried to explain the immediate need of residents and the inability of FEMA and the Red Cross to help.
“None of the first responders are getting into the hardest hit areas. I’ve spoken to over 300 people who are so shell-shocked,” he said, “and they are not thinking to walk eight to 10 blocks” to where FEMA and the Red Cross have tables set up.
“The further they go in, more people need help. If these responders go by foot and enter these hard-hit areas, they could help,” Digiacomo added.
Just imagine the coverage afforded a GOP incumbent on the eve of a re-election bid if he was presiding over such a mess.