Originally Posted by 32green
OAKWOOD BEACH, N.Y. — They were found hugging, a former Marine and his blue-eyed son, buried under the wreckage of the home they had hoped to save.
John "Flip" Filipowicz and John Jr., 20, had defied orders to evacuate as Hurricane Sandy approached Monday, determined to pump water out of their basement. But the massive tidal surge and raging floodwaters crushed the foundation, and a wall of concrete collapsed on them.
Police discovered the two the next day, their arms wrapped around each other. They lay amid the wreckage of Oakwood Beach, a working-class neighborhood of firefighters and cops, postal workers and corrections officers, on the southern lip of Staten Island, the always-forgotten New York City borough that suffered the worst in Sandy's terrible maw.
"They were hugging, and it breaks my heart to think that Flip was telling John, 'I can't save you,' " said their neighbor Sue Somma.
Filipowicz, 51, a former corrections officer, had sent his wife, daughter and another son — John Jr.'s twin — to relatives. Somma, the neighbor, described the former Marine as "a survivor" who probably planned to drink a few beers with John Jr. while the hurricane raged outside.
The next day, Somma said, she and her husband saw a 20-foot-wide hole where the concrete foundation had caved into the basement. John's brother, Neil is a retired FDNY and former MOS 1st Pct