Staten Island family perseveres after Hurricane Sandy

Amy Freeze reports on how they are moving forward together
October 29, 2013 3:44:23 PM PDT
The Correa family on Staten Island was living in their dream home when Sandy hit. They lost it and almost everything else, including each other. As their lives flashed before them, they changed what they valued most.

"Hey baby, I love you. I love the kids. I love you all!" Pedro Correa is heard on a voice message.

"He just kept saying I love you, tell the kids I love them. I didn't know if he was alive or dead," Jennifer Correa said.

Staten Island was in the cross hairs of Sandy's storm surge, and the Correa family was told to leave their home.

Jen decided to leave home to take kids, ages 3 and 8. Her husband decided to stay and protect the home, but the surge would come up the beach, over the berm and down their street.

"Water was about chest high fo him," Jen said. "It was pitch black."

"You say what you would you do if you had your last few minutes on Earth? I thought I was going to die," he said.

"He clung to a neighbor's roof and swam to safety," Jen said.

They had their lives, but nothing else.

"We are sitting on broken dreams. This was my dream home? gone," Pedro said.

A dream house lost, and then another disappointment. Jen's lifelong goal of running the marathon was cancelled. They were left to pick up all the pieces that Sandy left behind.

"I realized this was a structure and my home was my family," Pedro said.

With his life spared Pedro recalculated what he thought he lost and part of his focus on family is cheering on Jen in what has been part of her recovery - her love of running.

"I'm not a Sandy victim," she said.

The marathon finish line marks another milestone for how they are moving forward together.

"Over the year a lot has changed. We are still a family," Pedro said.