‘IT’S LIKE A NIGHTMARE’
Astoria residents ‘lost everything’ as a result of flooding from Hurricane Ida
Couches and other furniture in one resident’s apartment were picked up by the water and turned over. Photos by Julia Moro
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | SEPT. 10 - SEPT. 16, 2021 9
BY JULIA MORO
Around 10 p.m. on Sept.
1, residents on Astoria Park
South stepped out of their beds
and felt the water rushing in
beneath their feet.
The rain from Hurricane
Ida started earlier Wednesday,
with more than half a foot falling
in just the first few hours,
and killing at least 28 people
across three states, including
at least 10 in Queens.
Frankie Recarte, the apartment
at 12-10 Astoria Park
South, said he lost everything
in a matter of 10 minutes as
the water reached his waist.
Recarte fled to higher levels
of the building as the stairwell
and lower levels flooded. In
the early hours of the morning,
when it was safer to exit
the building, he and his wife
went to a motel.
Recarte said he and his
wife saved their money for
so long to buy computers and
furnish their apartment, but
it was all gone in a matter of
“It’s like a nightmare,” Recarte
said. “I couldn’t sleep
last night. I slept a little bit,
but I kept dreaming about
this. You never think it’s going
to happen to you. I don’t even
want to be here. I’m going to
Recarte said that even
when his apartment is eventually
repaired, he won’t feel
safe living there.
“I’ll be sad coming back
here,” Recarte said. “I don’t
know. Now I’m traumatized.”
Recarte and others described
a chaotic scene
Wednesday night as forceful
water rushed through
the doors and windows of the
One resident, Marlena, who
declined to provide her last
name, said she tried calling
911 multiple times, but no one
“911 put us through to
FDNY and they went ‘can’t
help,’ and disconnected,” Marlena
Marlena lost everything.
On top of that, she’s worried
about how she will financially
get by. Marlena is thousands of
dollars in debt after paying for
treatment for her dog that had
cancer a few months ago.
“I don’t have extra money
at the moment,” Marlena said.
“All my childhood memories
are gone, all my journals —
gone,” Marlena said. “It’s the
worst. My dog died in May and
now I don’t have a home.”
Marlena said even though
this is a devastating loss, she
is grateful everyone in her
building survived and came
together to help each other.
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