Here are answers to some of the claims making the rounds via social network, media, telephone and in person.
*Egbert Intermediate School (IS 2) in Midland Beach is being used as a temporary morgue or body drop-off site:
False, according to Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office; Marge Feinberg, spokeswoman for the city Department of Education; Adrienne Stallone, Egbert’s principal, and Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro.
Ms. Stallone also noted her school had no power and a flood in the basement.
*Also false, Ms. Feinberg said, is that PS 38, across the street from Egbert, is being used as a morgue.
Jim Fitzpatrick, who lives across the street from Egbert, said five bodies were brought to the softball stands near the school earlier in the week, but were quickly moved out of the neighborhood. He said he hasn’t seen any evidence that the school was used as a morgue.
Steve White, Advance freelance photographer, said the softball field was used as a staging area for the initial aftermath of the storm Tuesday.
*Word on the street claims the number of borough deaths from Hurricane Sandy is in the 80s. The NYPD, which has been tracking the fatalities, puts the official Staten Island storm toll — as of Sunday — at 23.
*Another rumor dispelled: That Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, lost electricity Monday night during Hurricane Sandy, resulting in multiple baby deaths.
Terry Lynam, hospital spokesman, said neither the Ocean Breeze nor the Prince’s Bay SIUH location lost power during the storm, and the report of infant deaths is false.
Finally, folks have claimed heavily damaged homes in the Zone A section have been demolished. That’s true, to a degree.
Rep. Michael Grimm’s office received information from the city that folks entering red-tagged buildings which have been found structurally compromised and deemed unsafe should do so at their own risk.
The Department of Buildings has been in the process of issuing red, yellow and green tags to each structure in Zone A locations. A red tag means the structure is not safe to return to; a yellow tag means proceed with caution, and a green tag signifies that the building is safe and structurally sound.
Whether demolition would occur at destroyed homes or not is a case-by-case business.
Repairs might be necessary at such a building, but that doesn’t mean the structure will have to be demolished. An additional, more in-depth inspection will follow this initial inspection, and the Buildings will be working closely with these property owners to determine the best course of action, the department told Grimm’s office.
When a building is structurally unstable, it is Buildings’ duty to declare it as such in order to protect the safety of our residents, neighbors and first responders.