Staten Island and Sandy

 By Bianca Vasaturo, from Staten Island
 Nikki and Sarah, a typical Staten Island couple, have been dating for over four years. This past May, Sarah had to tell her parents news that wasn’t so typical: she was pregnant. A baby girl was on the way, She was 24 and not married.
 Sarah’s parents were initially outraged, and the story quickly spread throughout the entire island. Two months later, Nikki proposed to Sarah in what would soon be their new apartment on the bottom floor of his brother’s house. After much drama, Sarah, Nikki, and both families made up and eagerly anticipated the arrival of the child.
 They threw a baby shower soon after, and the couple received tons of gifts. The carriages, cribs, clothes and other baby supplies were all placed in the nursery on the first level of Nikki’s brother’s house. They were pleasantly surprised at the support their family and friends showed and were beginning to feel at home in the new apartment waiting for the arrival of their baby. What they didn’t expect though, was the arrival of Sandy. On Monday, October 29th, Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast like a bully knocking over sand castles at the beach. It destroyed.
 Although Nikki and Sarah had been warned to evacuate their house, many neighbors and friends were convinced that the area was totally safe. They had dealt with heavy storms before and never been flooded, and they convinced themselves that they would be fine. The night of October 29th, after a black-out and dramatic temperature drop, huge rivers of water broke through the first floor windows of the house and swept through the entire apartment. The couple grabbed a few things and left quickly, their unborn baby’s safety their only concern.
 The next day, in the calm after the storm, Nikki and Sarah went back to look at the damage. The house still stood, but six feet of salt water had flooded their apartment and destroyed almost everything, including all of the brand new baby supplies. They have nothing but each other now, and a baby on the way.

 While the hurricane was traumatizing for all New Yorkers, it hit Staten Island the hardest. Thousands of families have been displaced from destroyed neighborhoods and homes, and Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm says it will take almost three years for a complete cleanup. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York, is spending more time and money on other boroughs even though more lives have been lost in Staten Island than in any other part of New York City. Just the number of businesses lost alone is threatening to push Staten Island down a path of economic crisis that has never been seen before. Staten Island needs more money, more volunteers, and more effort on Bloomberg’s for the borough to recover. This story of Nikki and Sam is just one of thousands of examples of families that need help.

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