Rockaway Remembers The Fallen


On this 5th Anniversary of Sandy, we must not forget those who lost their lives due to the storm. Hurricane Sandy was directly responsible for 147 deaths of those in her path in the Caribbean, United States and Canada. Of those, 48 were in New York. In a November 2012 article, The New York Times mapped out the deaths across the state. According to that article, we lost eight Rockaway neighbors.

Richard Gold, 67

“Mr. Gold was found dead Oct. 30 in the basement of his home on Beach 133rd Street in Belle Harbor by a neighbor. The police said the cause was drowning.”

David Gotthelf, 72

“Mr. Gotthelf was found dead in his home in Rockaway Park by a friend on Oct. 30. The police said the cause of death apparently was drowning.”

Mr. William McKeon, 78

Mr. McKeon died on the night of Nov. 6 at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center as a result of injuries sustained during the storm. Mr. McKeon had been found bleeding from the head at the bottom of a dark stairwell that was still wet and covered with sand in a building on Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Park.”

Albert McSwain, 77

“Mr. McSwain died Nov. 10 at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center after sustaining storm-related trauma to his head and body. He was found by family members on Oct. 31 at the bottom of the steps of his apartment building on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Power had gone out in the building.”

Nancy Sorenson, 50

“Ms. Sorenson died Oct. 30 from an injury she received while shutting off the gas to her house on Beach 124th Street in Rockaway Park. Ms. Sorenson cut her arm and bled to death.”

George Stathis, 90

“Mr. Stathis was found dead Nov. 3 in his basement at Beach 121st Street in Rockaway Park. He had drowned.”

Henry Sullivan, 57

“Mr. Sullivan was found dead Oct. 30 in his basement on Beach 136th Street in Belle Harbor. His wife, Brenda Sullivan, said he had gone there to turn off the gas. The police said the cause of death was probably drowning.”

Eden Toussaint, 58

“Mr. Toussaint was found dead by his landlord on Oct. 31 in a basement apartment on Beach 69th Street in Arverne. The police said he had drowned.”

Other reports said Santina Reilly, 84, of Rockaway Beach, was also a Sandy victim, as well as Keith Lancaster, 62, whose body wasn't discovered in his trailer until April 2013.

We acknowledge that the aforementioned deaths, were not the only ones that some attribute to Hurricane Sandy. Let us also remember those who may have died in the weeks and months following the storm due to storm-related accidents, and dealing with the stress and hardship of the recovery process. They are not forgotten.

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