Last week, her family huddled upstairs as the flood rose 10 feet inside their four-story Staten Island home; her 7-year-old daughter was "shaking from head to toe." They were rescued the next day.
Now they're bunking in the kids' room and basement at their friends' home in Brooklyn.
Her 6-year-old son has told her: "'I want my bed, Mommy; I want my blanket.'"
The city was closing all parks, playgrounds and beaches, as well as ordering all construction sites to be secured. Tuesday evening, the mayor ordered three nursing homes and an adult care facility evacuated from Queens' vulnerable Rockaway Peninsula because of fears the weather might knock out electricity already being provided by generators. About 620 residents were being moved.
Since the superstorm made landfall more than a week ago, killing many of its more than 100 victims in New York City and New Jersey and leaving millions without power, police said overall crime has actually gone down. There are few reports storm-damaged homes being looted.
But Alex Ocasio wasn't convinced. The nursing home worker planned to ride out the latest storm in his first-floor Rockaway apartment — even after seeing cars float by his front door during Sandy.
As the water receded, men dressed in dark clothes broke down the door and were surprised to find him and other residents inside, he said.
"They tried to say they were rescue workers, then took off," he said.
He put up a handmade sign — "Have gun. Will shoot U" — outside his apartment and started using a bed frame to barricade the door. He has gas, so he keeps the oven on and boils water to stay warm at night.
"It gets a little humid, but it's not bad," he said. "I'm staying. Nothing can be worse than what happened last week."
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said it wasn't wise to stay put. "I think your life is more important than property," he said.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Malcolm Ritter, Eileen AJ Connelly and Jennifer Peltz in New York and Larry Neumeister and Frank Eltman on Long Island.
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