Skip to main content

Young brothers, 'denied refuge,' swept to death by Sandy

By Tim Hume, CNN
November 4, 2012 -- Updated 0730 GMT (1530 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two brothers, four and two, died after being swept away by floodwaters during Sandy
  • Their mother said she had sought shelter at a nearby house, but was turned away
  • The homeowner has said he only saw a man outside, and could not help him
  • He said the mother, Glenda Moore, should not have been driving during the storm

(CNN) -- As Superstorm Sandy ravaged New York, Glenda Moore drove frantically across Staten Island in an attempt to get her sons to safety.

Instead, Moore found herself and her boys -- Connor, four and Brandon, two -- caught in the full fury of the storm.

Buffeted by torrential rains and winds of up to 90 miles per hour, her Ford Explorer plunged into a hole. According to the account she would later give police, Moore carried her sons to a nearby tree, gripping branches along with her boys as she tried to shelter them from the storm surge.

She told police they clung together for hours, before Moore managed to make her way to a nearby property, and pleaded to be let inside. But according to her police account, rather than sheltering the desperate strangers, the occupant refused to let them enter.

In desperation, Moore told police she then went to the back of the house, and tried to break in using a flower pot, but was unable to do so. As the storm raged on, her sons were swept away by floodwaters.

The bodies of the boys were found near each other Thursday, about a quarter of a mile from where Moore last held them.

In the end, NY marathon didn't feel right

It's unfortunate. She shouldn't have been out though.
A Staten Island homeowner accused of failing to help a mother and her boys

Relatives said Moore was too distraught to speak with CNN.

Meanwhile, public anger has been directed at the homeowner who allegedly failed to help Moore and her children. The man, who told CNN's Gary Tuchman that his name is Alan but did not want his full name used, disputed Moore's account, saying he saw only a man outside.

"He didn't come to the door... he must have been standing at the bottom of the stairs," said the man. "He took a concrete flower pot... and threw [it] through the door."

The man at the door didn't ask to enter the house, he said, but instead asked him to come outside in order to help.

"What could I do to help him?" he asked. "I had a pair of shorts on with flip-flops."

The man told CNN he sat up for the rest of the night, with his back against the door in the kitchen.

He said he did not know the fate of the children. Told that their bodies had been found, he said the deaths were a tragedy, but implied that the woman was at fault.

"It's unfortunate. She shouldn't have been out though. You know, it's one of those things," he said.

He said there was nothing he could have done. "I'm not a rescue worker ... If I would have been outside, I would have been dead."

The man said he had given his account to police.

Legal experts consulted by CNN said that no crime would have been committed by a failure to render assistance.

CNN's Gary Tuchman contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Superstorm Sandy
November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
November 29, 2012 -- Updated 1953 GMT (0353 HKT)
Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
Get to know the victims of Superstorm Sandy through our interactive feature.
November 30, 2012 -- Updated 1542 GMT (2342 HKT)
It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
November 25, 2012 -- Updated 2007 GMT (0407 HKT)
It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
November 24, 2012 -- Updated 1646 GMT (0046 HKT)
The rapper 50 Cent brought a little holiday cheer and Thanksgiving food to New Yorkers hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
November 21, 2012 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
November 20, 2012 -- Updated 1719 GMT (0119 HKT)
Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
Truckloads of donations from across the country, carrying everything from bottled water to diapers, are arriving at places of worship.
November 20, 2012 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.
November 2, 2012 -- Updated 1652 GMT (0052 HKT)
Roots ripped out of the ground as a large oak tree fell toward Olga Raymond's front door. With it came a power line.
iReporters share their photos, videos and stories of living in the path of the superstorm.
ADVERTISEMENT