Hurricane Sandy‘s deadly mix of heavy rains, winds and floodwaters proved fatal for at least 19 New Yorkers in her wake. They included an off-duty officer who drowned saving his family from rising water levels, a woman who stepped on a live wire and a 13-year old girl found under debris in her home, according to the New York Daily News
When he noticed their Staten Island house was flooding, off-duty officer Artur Kasprzak, lead his family to the upstairs attic. He then went to the basement to check for his father and never returned. 911 responders entering the basement with scuba suits were held back by live wires in the water. After the wires were removed, they entered and found Kasprzak’s body Tuesday morning.
“He went to the basement. And the water just started washing in,” said his sister Marta. “He was pushed into a window. We were up in the attic. The water just kept coming in.”
At the 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan where Kasprzak worked, news of his death hit hard.
“It was very difficult this morning when I had to tell everyone. It’s heart-breaking, to be honest with you,” said Deputy Inspector Edward Winski, the precinct’s commanding officer. ““He was really a great guy, well-liked, very professional and hard working,”
Lauren Abraham, 23, was snapping photos of a burning power line in Richmond Hill, Queens when she stepped on a live wire. Abraham immediately fell to the ground and started burning to death. Witnesses described the horrifying scene: “Her body was burning,” said neighbor Asha Bhagaretti, 43. “It was just horrifying.”