Update from Staten Island: Boots on the Ground, but No Answers (W/ Photos)

Note: All photos credited to Mark E. Ruquet and Josephine Cirmi.

It was a busy weekend at Midland Beach, Staten Island, N.Y.

The clean-up has begun. There is no other way to describe it other than mounds and mounds of trash piled up everywhere: bags, appliances, wood, sheetrock and memories (shown below).

FEMA, National Guard, Red Cross, friends, family and strangers are all descending upon this stricken area trying to help.

In our case, we had a church group come by on Saturday. What would have taken days or weeks of demolition and clean-up was done in hours. Despite the progress, when one turns around, there just seems to be more to go through and throw out. But there is no easy way around it.

What we are really waiting for are results.

My car is still sitting, waiting to be towed. I got a call Friday from a company in charge of the pick-up, but nothing more so far. There is a sign on the front window that it is to be taken away. I just hope the city proves to be a little more patient.

There is word of a housing crunch here in New York with so many losing their homes. We’re waiting on a decision from FEMA. Telephone lines are automated, and getting through to a live person is impossible. If we can at least get the electric, hot water and heat back on we can live in the house while the rest is repaired. And we will no longer be refugees.

After awhile, one runs up against a brick wall. We’ve done everything we can; now we have to wait for answers.

The best way to get around is on foot. Lines were still long over the weekend for fuel: from cars to people with gas containers (shown below). People are still driving, and I suspect some are out to survey the damage. One would think that with the gas situation the way it is, conservation would be the first rule of business.

Buses are running, but they closed all the bus pick-up points along Midland Ave. in this part of Midland Beach. There is a notice of where the next available bus pick-up point is, but I have no idea where that would be. Need to look into that. Traffic is a nightmare. If it’s not drivers-playing-tourist taking pictures, then we're blocked in with relief and emergency vehicles trying to pass. People who are helping out are parking where they can, making streets a little more narrow. On top of that, One Way means nothing. Drivers are going every which way they can. Then there is the issue of no traffic lights adding to the back-up.

A walk to the bank down a usually-busy commercial strip revealed an almost desolate street. A pizzeria, boutique store and the bank were open (shown below).

Chase has managed to open branches with generators where they had to, like the one I went to. A friendly teller, hot chocolate and smiles were a welcome relief.

Now there is a Nor’easter coming Wednesday and temperatures are “unseasonably cold” as the weather forecasters say. There are going to be a rough few weeks ahead.  

More Photos:

About the Author
Mark E. Ruquet

Mark E. Ruquet

Mark E. Ruquet is associate editor for Property Casualty 360 – National Underwriter and PropertyCasualty360.com, where he primarily covers the agents and brokers market. He joined National Underwriter in 2000. Before that, he worked as a reporter for the Ocean County Observer in Toms River, N.J. Prior to that he worked as a freelance reporter with the Asbury Park Press in Freehold, N.J., and the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick, N.J. Before turning to a career in journalism, he held various positions with Seaman’s Furniture Co. in its quality control department rising to manager over a 12 year period. Mark is a graduate of Rutgers University, Livingston College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in English. Ruquet may be reached at mruquet@sbmedia.com.

Comments

Resource Center

View All »

Complimentary Case Study: Helping achieve your financial goals By:...

Find out how a Special Investigation Union used TLOxp to save the company money and...

Do Your Clients Hold The Right CDL License?

Learn about the various classes of CDL Licenses and the industries that are impacted by...

Integrated Content & Communications: A Key Business Issue For Insurers

Insurers are renewing their focus on top line growth, and many are learning that growth...

High Risk Insurance Coverage in the E&S Market

Experts discuss market conditions, trends and projected growth in a rapidly changing niche.

Top E-Signature Security Requirements

This white paper covers the most important security features to look for when evaluating e-signatures...

EPLI Programs Crafted Just For Your Clients

Bring us your restaurant clients, associations and other groups and we’ll help you win more...

Is It Time To Step Up And Own An Agency?

Download this eBook for insight on how to determine if owning an agency is right...

Claims - The Good The Bad And The Ugly

Fraudulent claims cost the industry and the public thousands of dollars in losses. This article...

Leveraging BI for Improved Claims Performance and Results

If claims organizations do not avail themselves of the latest business intelligence (BI) tools, they...

Top 10 Legal Requirements for E-Signatures in Insurance

Want to make sure you’ve covered all your bases when adopting e-signatures? Learn how to...

Claims Connection eNewsletter

Breaking news on disasters, fraud, legal trends, technology, and CE initiatives for the P&C claim professional – FREE. Sign Up Now!

Claims-Handling Guidelines

Claims Magazine is providing the following free guidelines and regulations in order to help adjusting professionals stay abreast of each state’s unique property and casualty claim-handling requirements.

View our State Guidelines »

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.