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Police: Hurricane Sandy Kills Off-Duty Cop, 17 Others in New York City

By  Alan Neuhauser Jill Colvin and Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 30, 2012 3:54pm | Updated on October 30, 2012 7:17pm

NEW YORK — Hurricane Sandy claimed at least 18 victims in New York City Monday and Tuesday, including an off-duty NYPD officer, officials said

Deaths were recorded in every borough except The Bronx, from a 13-year-old girl who died around the corner from her Staten Island home, to Officer Arthur Kasprzak, also in Staten Island, who became separated from his family as they evacuated their house, to a man and woman crushed by a tree as they walked their dog in Brooklyn.

The death toll is expected to rise as emergency workers continue search-and-rescue operations.

"Sandy hit us very hard, it was a storm of historic intensity," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a Tuesday evening press conference. "But New Yorkers are resilient."

Police offered some details on nine of the fatalities: three in Manhattan, three in Queens, two in Staten Island and one in Brooklyn. Information the other deaths was unavailable Tuesday night.

Police have not released any of the victims’ identities. For a map of where the deaths occurred, click here.

A man, a woman and a dog were found trapped beneath a tree on a Ditmas Park street Tuesday morning, the FDNY and residents reported. The two people were pronounced dead at the scene, fire officials said. The dog was alive and taken in by a neighbor.

A 55-year-old man was found dead inside a commercial building at 90 Broad St. in TriBeCa. “He was outside the building, and somehow he landed inside,” an NYPD spokesman said. It’s believed floodwaters might have pushed the man inside the building.

A man in his 50s was found dead on the first floor of a parking garage at 92 Laight St. in the Financial District. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police believe he worked at the garage.

A 75-year-old woman, Herminia St. John, died in her Gramercy home at 444 Second Ave. after power for her respirator shut off during the storm. “Electricity went out. She suffered cardiac arrest,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. She was found dead by a relative, police said.


A 23-year-old Richmond Hill woman, Lauren Abraham, was electrocuted outside her home at 105-05 134th St. when she stepped in a puddle electrified by a downed wire, police said. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 30-year-old Flushing man, Anthony Laino, was killed when a tree crashed through his house at 47-36 166th St. just after 7 p.m. Monday, police said. He was also pronounced dead at the scene.

A 50-year-old Rockaway Park woman, Nancy Sorenson, was found unconscious inside her home at 188 Beach 124th St. Tuesday and pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Additionally, an unidentified victim was found trapped in a home at 164-25 98th St. in Howard Beach, authorities said.

Off-duty NYPD officer Arthur Kasprzak was killed Monday night as he helped seven family members, including a 15-month-old boy, escape rising floodwaters by leading them to the attic of his Doty Avenue house in Arrochar. While the group headed upstairs, Kasprzak went to the basement one last time to make sure it was clear. Police believe he was electrocuted, but the precise cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner's Office. He was pronounced dead at the scene the Tuesday morning. Arrochar served in the 1st Precinct in Manhattan and was a six-year member of the NYPD.

A 13-year-old girl was killed, her father has been reported missing, and her mother was injured at 455 Manhattan Ave. in Tottenville, police and SILive.com reported. The family lived nearby on Yetman Avenue, one of four homes on the block that sustained serious damage in the storm.