Gene Burke has been a resident of Rockaway since he was 6 years old. He's seen many hurricanes sweep through the peninsula. "This was bigger than Donna!" he says. He lives on an upper floor of a building on Beach 76th st.
".... that night, the water came. I saw the ocean. And the waves about a mile out, three quarters of a mile out, were actually rolling, on top of the other waves. This was a monster! And I saw it come over the boardwalk..."
With an overturned vehicle in the background, Gene tells me that he is looking after a friend who suffered a heart attack only a week before the storm. Neither of them have anywhere else to go.
"We have no water, no electric, no food, no medical supplies. I mean, I can't think of one thing positive. Climbing steps with no emergency lights. Ya have to feel ya way up 5, 6 7, 8 flights."