Nightly News   |  November 02, 2012

Much-needed supplies arrive in Staten Island

The National Guard, FEMA and the Red Cross, among other agencies, set up camp to help the hard-hit working class community of Staten Island. NBC’s Andrea Canning reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> we showed you here last night, staten island where the marathon would have stepped off was suffering, seemed all but forgotten, even as other areas were getting a lot of attention. in fact, the people can see where life is offshore, at least that area is starting to turn around. andrea, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, and what a difference a day makes, just 24 hours ago people here were crying for help on live tv , feeling all but ignored by local and federal governments. this morning, all of that changed.

>> once you get the water and things, get it to this table.

>> reporter: today, a welcome flood of relief as national guard , fema, red cross and other agencies set up camp, bringing much-needed supplies to this hard-hit working class community.

>> thank you, fema.

>> reporter: 24 hours after this desperate plea onmn[? live television.

>> but you need to come here and help us, we need assistance. please.

>> reporter: there is now hope.

>> there is a renewed hope and spirit, and that is what they needed.

>> reporter: families crowded around the tables to pick up canned food and ready to eat meals, with more than 100 lining up for dry ice , others bringing clothing for their neighbors. temperatures are dropping tonight and parents here are worried about their children. the homeland security chief and fema officials today oversaw the relief effort.

>> folks are going to be going door-to-door in these communities and making sure that nobody is left out.

>> reporter: as one person put it, it is not charity, it is humanity.

>> i'm from brooklyn, here since saturday, today is my day off, i'm here trying to help a little more because it is like a bomb hit.

>> reporter: ester doesn't even know where to start.

>> we need help here, we truly do, we need somebody to come and tell us which way to go, how to go, everybody is becoming so frantic.

>> reporter: she feels lost in her own neighborhood, there is the boat lodged in her house, the water damage and the heavy web of wires hanging over her yard. about 500 residents are living at the local shelters, officials say housing is the biggest need.

>> they're so scared, they want to know if they have a place to go in the next 30 days , we don't have the answers.

>> reporter: while they wait for answers today, a small return to being normal. for the first time since the storm, the staten island ferry re-opened, carrying the passengers over the quiet waters . and the cleanup has started in this area, but to give you an idea, see the boats here on the door step, well, they're strewn ppd the area, today a crane came in, moving them back to the marina. brian, the cleanup in the area will take months.