Storm Sandy Fundraiser for the Vidal Family
“Storms like this just don’t happen in Staten Island so we decided to stay.” The Vidal family decided to not evacuate their Staten Island home and ride out the storm. The family of ten includes 4 generations all living under one roof. Joanne a single mother of 3 children (Izabel 15yrs, Michael 12yrs and Gia 3yrs) also lives with and cares for her elderly parents, grandmother and aunt all requiring special medical attention. “There’s just too many of us and we had no place to go…” Joanne uttered as her voice echoed through the first story of her gutted house. As the storm came rolling in Izabel peered out the window and yelped “Mom the water is coming!” Joanne confirmed there was a rushing stream of water plunging down her street and decided to place a couple of valuable belongings on the tops of tables and gather the family to head up to the second floor. Joanne said “Within 5 minutes, the water was pounding against my front door at least 4 feet high and was quickly rising, trapping us.” As the family huddled in fear of Sandy’s wall shaking winds and the sound of waves filling up their living room, Joanne was preparing for ways she could evacuate her entire family to safety. She frantically tied together extension cords to use as a rescue rope to throw across to her neighbor whose property was set on higher grounds. Once her makeshift rope was completed, all she could do is just watch Sandy’s destruction, pray and be ready to make any moves necessary. When the storm calmed and waters leveled the Vidal family was incredibly thankful they survived the storm. They waited nearly two days for a rescue boat to reach them. “We lost everything but we're thankful we have our lives."
The Vidal family lost everything on their ground floor and basement levels. The New York City Department of Building's inspected their property and yellow tagged their home categorizing it as "Restricted Use". Brief entry of the property is allowed on the first floor but significant re-construction is needed for the structural damage to the exterior and interior walls as well as the floor boards. The home will also require new electrical and plumbing lines as well as all new appliances, finishes and furniture. The family did not have flood insurance and will need significant help to purchase building materials and appliances. Please consider making a monetary donation to the Vidal family so we can provide them with gift cards for the holiday season to help re-build their home!