Marines, Navy Provide Relief to Staten Island, Queens

Marines, Navy Provide Relief to Staten Island, Queens

Marines and the Navy stormed the beaches of Queens and Staten Island yesterday to bring desperately-needed aid and supplies to hurricane-battered locals.
Armed with high-powered water pumps and sophisticated surveying equipment, the Leathernecks, aided by Navy sailors, began their attack on floodwaters from Rockaway Beach in Queens to Midland Beach on Staten Island. The New York Post reported on the efforts earlier this morning.

“It’s pretty nasty,”  said one Marine of the Rockaway wreckage. “It’s a lot of sewage. Pretty much anything you’d flush down the toilet, that lays on the ground, that’s trash. It’s pretty vile stuff.”
 
His work was appreciated.
 
“I was just speechless when I saw them,” said Priscilla Smalls, 53, who lives in the Ocean Bay Houses in the Rockaways’ Arverne section.
 
“I’ve never seen Marines anywhere before, let alone over here in the projects. It’s a great, cool thing. We need the big guns after what happened here. I’ve seen the National Guard, but the Marines are a whole different thing.”

Marine engineers did a block-by-block assessment of Staten Island’s Father Capodanno Boulevard to determine the manpower and equipment required for today, when 50 to 100 more corps members are expected to come ashore.
 
Meanwhile, Marines and Navy sailors were hard at work with hammers and hacksaws, doing any construction and cleanup they could.
 
“It was wonderful to see them,” said Jessie Gonzalez, 34, whose home on nearby Patterson Avenue was flooded after the storm.
 
“They gave us supplies, water and food. It makes us feel like we’re actually getting help now. At least we feel safer with their presence.”
 
Residents felt similar relief in the Rockaways, where engineer and utilities Marines from the 8th Engineer Support Battalion drove up from Camp Lejeune, NC.
 
They started working at 5 a.m. at the Ocean Bay Houses with 150-gallon-per-minute pumps in what was likely to be a weeks-long effort to remove the chest-high water from the basements of the complex’s 34 buildings.
 

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