There were 24 lives lost, neighborhoods devastated, homes destroyed, boats ripped from their moorings, vehicles submerged under water, and precious photographs gone forever when Hurricane Sandy slammed into Staten Island’s shores on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
In the days, weeks, and months that followed a resiliency grew with neighbors, strangers, community leaders, and the brave men and women of the FDNY, NYPD and Sanitation Department uniting to clean up debris, distributing food, clothing and water, offering shelter and finding words of comfort amid the rubble and the grief.
Borough President Vito Fossella commemorated the 10 years that have passed with a solemn ceremony at Miller Field, once a staging ground for recovery operations. He was joined by Mayor Eric Adams, a contingent of elected and city officials, those on the frontlines, and those impacted directly by the storm.A lone violinist played, her music a symbol of the last 10 years: Reflection, hope, and renewal.
“There’s a handful of events in life when you can say you remember where you were, and Superstorm Sandy is one of them,” said Borough President Fossella, standing on the beach. “Today, we remember not only where we were, but we remember those we lost.”
He then read the names of the 24 victims, some from the same family -- a father and daughter; a father and son; a sister and brother; a couple married for 26 years, and the youngest, brothers Brendan Moore, 2, and Conner Moore 4, who were swept away from their mother when a wall of water flooded their SUV on Father Capodanno Boulevard.
“When a storm hits our shores, we are not Democrats or Republicans,” said Mayor Adams. “Some of those storms come from the sky as in a hurricane, but they also came in a form of terrorism on 9/11, they came in the form of COVID, they came in the form of monkeypox, and they come in the form of the financial challenges that we're facing today. When you sit down and do an analysis of who we are, sometimes we’re going to take different roles, but we all want one destination -- we want a strong and healthy New York and a strong and healthy America."
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella commends Mayor Adams statement on migrant family status
We commend Mayor Adams and his announcement today for stating that the thousands of migrants flooding New York City is completely unsustainable. We said the same weeks ago.
In fact, I and three of our council members of the Staten Island delegation sent a letter to the New York City Independent Budget Office asking for a cost analysis of migrant families coming into the city who will impact the boroughs’ resources. We are pleased the Mayor has stated strongly how this will impact all New Yorkers and cost us upwards of $1 billion, if not more. This is a problem our city did not create. It is a federal issue which requires a federal solution.
If the city expects to spend at least $1 billion on this crisis, by our math, that’s almost $60,000 being spent per person for the 17,000 migrants NYC has accepted so far. As we await a final report from IBO, we will continue to seek to work with the Adams administration to get to a solution that steers into a different direction. This report is expected to be complete within the next two weeks.
There isn’t a more generous country than the United States and the people of Staten Island are always willing to help those in need - whether it is food, clothing, or shelter. It is not about this notion of a lack of compassion or understanding, but that Staten Islanders are forced to deal with an issue they did not create.
Earlier this week, our office stood with Congresswoman Malliotakis, Councilmembers Carr and Borelli, and members of the Travis Civic Association outside the Comfort Inn in Travis to oppose the stay of migrant families who were placed in the neighborhood without notice. We reiterated, as we had done in the letter to IBO, that the instability of this approach is the beginning of no end in sight.
City Hall recently announced that city agencies have to cut their budgets and inevitably will translate to cuts for Staten Island and other New Yorkers. The Mayor has issued a warning to the federal government, and to state and fellow citizens that we need a course of action immediately. We need better answers, we need a better solution, and we stand ready to work with Mayor Adams to solve this problem New York did not create.