More than a month after Hurricane Sandy tore through the city, many are still struggling to get back on their feet. NY1's Roger Clark revisited one Oakwood Beach man NY1 profiled in the days after the storm.
Pedro Correa called his dream home on Kissam Avenue a utopia. That house now lies in a marsh 400 yards away from his property after Hurricane Sandy ripped it off its foundation.
"I look through his property and I see my stuff," Correa said. "But then, I have to put on waders and go into there, and I find my stuff in the weeds."
NY1 first introduced you to Correa a week after Hurricane Sandy hit as he surveyed the remains of his home. He managed to move his wife and two young children out of harm's way but could do nothing to protect the house they shared. They're now living in an apartment nearby, while he, an Iraq War veteran, September 11th survivor and sergeant at Sing Sing Prison, tries to figure out what to do next. He says his insurance company is trying to work with him, but there are issues.
"Flood is capped," he said. "The federal government caps flooding at $250,000. I had a $450,000 mortgage on this house, you know. I had another $200,000 in personal property. How does a middle class guy come back from that? I mean, I'm going to see a bankruptcy lawyer today, you know, just to get an idea of where I go from here."
One possibility is a proposal by some of Staten Island's elected officials that would tap federal, state and city funds to buy property from homeowners in areas like Oakwood Beach, which would be transformed into open space.
Correa said he is all for that, especially because he does not intend to rebuild in the area, which is also prone to brush fires.
"That's probably my only chance of not going into bankruptcy, is if the state, the city or the federal government buys off my property," he said.
While they wait, Correa said the outpouring of help from friends and people his family hardly even knows has been overwhelming.
"Somebody started a website, a 'you caring' website that donated money to our family," he said. People, generosity, has been amazing throughout this."
Correa said he and his brother narrowly escaped death during the the storm as the house floated away. He said there were a million different ways he could have died that night, and it was one step from a miracle that they survived.