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Storm aftermath 'a lot worse than how it's being portrayed by media'

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11/06/2012 08:53 AM
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Storm aftermath 'a lot worse than how it's being portrayed by media'
Storm aftermath 'a lot worse than how it's being portrayed by media'

EW spoke to Sons of Anarchy

– and Staten Island native — Theo Rossi (Juice Ortiz),who was home visiting family and friends when Sandy hit. He’s remained there eversince and gave us this first-hand account of the devastation.

“It’s so bad here, a lot worse than how its being portrayed by the media. They are findingbodies left and right, elderly people who don’t even watch the news or who knew thestorm was coming. I was just with one of my best friends from high school and college,and his house is completely gone. One story I heard was about this one guy whoevacuated his house during Hurricane Irene but then it got looted. So when they told himto evacuate for Sandy, he said, ‘I’m not leaving.’ Now they can’t find him, his 13-year-old daughter is dead, and his wife is in critical condition at the hospital. These are thestories. My stepfather and my mother, I love them to death. But when they heard the
storm was coming, they said, ‘It’s not going to be that bad. Irene didn’t do anything.’They had two flashlights and a couple of scented candles. Little did they know. It’s justnot worth it. If you’re told to evacuate, you need to get out.The one weird thing is how there is no power. The other weird thing is how there’s nogas. To get gas requires a three-and-a-half hour wait. It’s like this odd, post-apocalyptickind of thing. Most trees are down. Power lines are down. It’s like a movie, or like

TheWalking Dead

. You can’t believe it. Especially when you grow up here. I moved to LosAngeles in 1999, but this has always been my home. There’s the place I kissed a girl,that’s the place I played handball. I know this island in and out. To see it completelydestroyed is bizarre.I’ve been trying to hit every shelter on Staten Island to do what I can, just to make peoplesmile. A lot of people know me and know I’m from here. My flight has been changed sixtimes now. Finally, I got a flight for Sunday. Then, the city decides they are going aheadwith the New York City Marathon. The bridges will be closed, so I can’t get to theairport. How are they doing a marathon when most people don’t have power? On top ofit, the hotels in Manhattan have been nice enough to put up people who have no homes.They are charging them $200 as opposed to $700 a night. But now they are throwingthese people out because they’ve got people from all over the world coming to run themarathon. They are throwing out the survivors! So I call Jet Blue and say I can’t flySunday because I can’t get from Staten Island to JFK Airport. And they said ‘OkayTheo.’ They know me know because I’ve been calling them every 15 minutes. They say,‘Theo, we can get you on a flight Friday.’ I say book it! I call up the car service, and theysay, ‘We can’t pick you up, we have no gas.’ All my friends on Staten Island say, ‘Howare we going to get you there? We have no gas.’ And the people who


have gas, don’twant to waste it going to JFK. So I’ve got to call and change my flight


. Now I’mleaving Monday. Everybody says if we don’t have gas in our cars by Monday, if theroads aren’t clear by Monday, that’s it … we’re throwing in the towel.I’m really glad I’m here to help and do anything, but I’ve never seen anything like this.I’m just glad I’m here with my family. A shout out and thank you to all the amazing cityworkers who have been working around the clock. Police, fire, sanitation. You all are thetrue fabric of this city.”

[link to www.scribd.com]