- Last Updated: 4:45 AM, November 17, 2012
- Posted: 1:17 AM, November 17, 2012
New Yorkers will count their blessings next week, but a traditional Thanksgiving feast will be the furthest thing from many Staten Islanders’ minds — even as they express gratefulness for surviving Hurricane Sandy.
“We don’t even have a working oven,” said Midland Beach mother-of-two Dawn Lavigne, 47, whose house was flooded.
“[But] we have a lot to be thankful for because we’re alive.”
New Dorp chef Hakim Abdel, 40, his house nearly destroyed, said, “I can’t afford a contractor. I’m homeless, . . . so I’m homeless, so I have no choice but to fix it myself.” He said the storm surge submerged the family SUV with his wife and three kids inside as they tried to flee. Abdel plucked the kids out and left them clinging to their front gate while he went back to save his wife.
“I’m just thankful I still have my family,” he said.
Back in Midland Beach, single mother of three Nina Genis, 41, said: “We usually have a big turkey, but we won’t be celebrating this year. Right now, I need to find a new apartment, and there’s nothing on the island. It’s terrible.”
Marge Gatti, 67, just wants to make her neighborhs are safe and warm.
“My son invited the whole block over for Thanksgiving,” said the Midland Beach grandmother of seven. “We just want to make sure no one is out in the cold. We can give thanks because everyone is alive.”
New Dorp’s Frank McGuiness, 36, and his wife and young daughter are “thinking about helping out in a shelter.”
“I think that would be nice to do,” he said.
Meanwhile, Robert Suarez, 44, is living in a hotel with his wife and three kids. Their Freeport, LI, home was destroyed, yet he remains upbeat as he helps Island Harvest collect turkeys for needy families.
“I’m thankful that I have them,” he said of his own family — before considering all that has happened and adding, “I think this will be the best Thanksgiving.”