NEW YORK (AP) — The mother grabbed her two boys and fled their home as it filled with water, hoping to outrun Superstorm Sandy.
But Glenda Moore and her SUV were no match for the epic storm. Moore’s Ford Explorer stalled in the rising tide, and the rushing waters snatched 2-year-old Brandon and 4-year-old Connor from her arms as they tried to escape.
The youngsters’ bodies were recovered from a marsh Thursday — the latest, most gut-wrenching blow in New York’s Staten Island, an isolated city borough hard-hit by the storm and yet, residents say, largely forgotten by federal officials assessing damage of the monster storm that has killed more than 90 people in 10 states.
“Terrible, absolutely terrible,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said as he announced the boys’ bodies had been found on the third day of a search that included police divers and sniffer dogs. “It just compounds all the tragic aspects of this horrific event.”
The heartbreaking discovery came as residents and public officials complained that help has been frustratingly slow to arrive on stricken Staten Island, where 19 have been killed — nearly half the death toll of all of New York City.
Garbage is piling up, a stench hangs in the air and mud-caked mattresses and couches line the streets. Residents are sifting through the remains of their homes, searching for anything that can be salvaged.
“We have hundreds of people in shelters,” said James Molinaro, the borough’s president. “Many of them, when the shelters close, have nowhere to go because their homes are destroyed. These are not homeless people. They’re homeless now.”