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Hurricane Sandy Stories

Aired November 1, 2012 - 20:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s nobody around. You don`t know where to go. You`re trying to get out of a window. You know, you`re up to your neck in water. It`s freezing. The wind is blowing. You don`t know what`s going to happen, really. You see your life pass.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: I am live here in the streets of New York. As you can see, the trash is piling up. I can`t (ph) tell you that the videos and the pictures you are seeing are not giving the full story.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A disaster still ongoing, the images overwhelming.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s left of your house right now?


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: It is beyond anything I thought I`d ever see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miles of shoreline washed away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at these waves coming through behind me!

GRACE: The city is devastated. Of course, New Yorkers are trying to make a comeback, but with these conditions, I think it`s going to take a while.


GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

We are live tonight in the center of Manhattan. The devastation surrounding us is beyond what you are seeing on these pictures, on this video. The city is dark all the way down to the low end of the island. It reminds me so very much of 9/11.

The death toll is rising still, over three million without heat, without power. It`s sort of a "Mad Max" scenario, where there are lines up to over a mile three deep of people standing there with gas cans, sitting in cars, using up what gas they`ve got to try to get gasoline.

The temperature`s lowering, and in the midst of all of this, we hear another storm is coming. The Eastern corridor slammed by frankenstorm Sandy.

We are live here in Manhattan, and we are taking your calls. And amidst all of this, stories of courage are emerging one after the next after the next.

I want to go straight out to Mike Galanos, HLN anchor standing by at Toms River. Mike, what`s happening?

MIKE GALANOS, HLN ANCHOR: Jane -- excuse me, Nancy, I had a chance to spend the day walking into people`s houses who had no idea what they were going to run into -- families, neighbors, standing together arm in arm, people who had no damage to their house setting up hot chocolate and coffee for everybody.

And I went in with a mom and a son. It was their whole life basically in ruins, Nancy, in ruins, as four-and-a-half to five feet of water flooded into their home, basically lifted up everything they own, shuffled it around and dropped it, refrigerator strewn (ph).

And this mom tried to keep a good face, tried to remain strong for herself and her son. At one point, she just lost it. The tears began to flow and said, We have nothing. But she said, We have each other, and she looked at her son and said, We`re going to be OK.

GRACE: Straight out to Ellie Jostad, our chief editorial producer. New York and New Jersey struggling to recover from the wreckage of Sandy, staggered today by gas shortages, overwhelmed transit city (ph), and yet more bodies being recovered.

Ellie, what can you tell me about the two boys in Staten Island?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Yes, Nancy. This is just one of the most heartbreaking stories of this superstorm Sandy. These two little boys, just 2 and 4 years old, were missing after the storm. In the height of the storm, they were with their mother, who is a nurse in New Jersey. They were trying to get out of Staten Island, make it to Brooklyn, where their father was.

Their car became submerged on one of these flooded streets. Mom got out to try to get help. And Nancy, she lost her grip on the 2-year-old first. Then she lost the grip on the 4-year-old.

This mother spent the night knocking on doors in the neighborhood, trying to find her two little boys who were swept away in these rising flood waters. Neighbors said they couldn`t hear her, the wind, the rain so loud that there was no way they heard her screaming for help. They found her the next morning actually on someone`s doorstep, suffering from hypothermia.

Nancy, those two little boys found today after the storm waters receded. They were in sort of a marshy area, found by rescuers just about two blocks from where they got separated from their mother. And you know, this is in one of the hardest hit parts of the Eastern Seaboard, Staten Island. About 20 dead just in that one part of the New York City area.

GRACE: Ellie, the story you just told, it`s every mother`s worst nightmare. It`s my understanding that particular mother who was in the car, in the SUV, trying to get to the father...

JOSTAD: Right.

GRACE: ... the storm surge started taking the SUV. So she gets out of the SUV. And she`s got the two boys, age 2 and 4, and she`s holding on. She`s holding on for dear life. And then a surge comes and takes the boys away.

So she`s out going door to door, screaming for the boys. Nobody can hear her because the wind is whipping around her. And they find her, do they not, Ellie, the next morning lying -- she`s getting hypothermia -- where she just finally just staggered and passed out on somebody`s doorstep in the middle of all this.

JOSTAD: Yes. That`s right, Nancy. I mean, it`s just a horrifying story. She`s a nurse. Her husband, the boys` father, is a public works worker. You know, they were just trying -- she had this car loaded up with supplies to get her family through the storm, and she couldn`t make it out of her neighborhood that was flooding.

GRACE: Amidst stories like that that are heartbreaking, there are stories of survival. There are stories of courage. Out to you, Rita Cosby. There in Staten Island, there`s a lot of anger right now. What`s happening?

RITA COSBY, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Yes, there`s a lot of anger all over New York. In fact, these huge, massive lines -- I mean, it is staggering to see these pictures, Nancy. You know, I`ve been in New York here for many, many years.

But some of these lines are over a mile long just to get on the bus because the buses are finally running. And where I am -- I`m at the end of the Brooklyn Bridge. All day long, we saw people going over the bridge because mass transit isn`t working in this area.

And the people that are going in their cars have to have at least three people in the car, or they could get a citation because the mayor said, We want you to carpool. So it`s been a really crazy, very desperate, and it`s really hitting a boiling point. People are frustrated, and it could be a while.

GRACE: We are live here in the center of Manhattan and taking your calls, all of us positioned all across the area.

This is what I observed. It`s getting really cold outside. To you, Tom Sater, meteorologist. The wind is strong. It`s getting cold.


GRACE: And when you look down the streets of New York, it`s completely dark. The buildings are so tall that you don`t get moonlight.

SATER: Right.

GRACE: You don`t get starlight. Nothing. And it`s getting cold. What`s happening? What is this business about another storm?

SATER: Well, the news I have is not great. I mean, it`s not total despair, but I can`t believe we still see Sandy on this map. We thought it would be long gone.

But the winds, you`re right, they are picking up and they`re going to get stronger, and this could cause problems for power crews in restoring power. But it`s going to usher in colder air.

This is the big story here. I mean, how do you sustain, day after day, night after day, you know, when the temperature drops into the 30s, this is life-threatening.

But yes, let me show you -- we talk about computer models. And this is the same long-term models, Nancy, that actually grabbed Sandy and told us about its track. Now, again, these are fickle creatures. I mean, we don`t know, it may go east, west. But this little disturbance here -- this is on Monday before election day, and then it slides up...

GRACE: Well, are you telling me -- are you telling me there is going to be another storm? That`s what I want to know. I appreciate all the meteorologist talk. I don`t really understand it all.

SATER: OK, Nancy...

GRACE: But does it boil down to there`s going to be another storm, and we still don`t have power yet.

SATER: I cannot tell you, Nancy, for sure. But what I can tell you is this is hinting at a powerful nor`easter, all right? When the computer models get in agreement, which they are lately -- we`re six days out. You know, no one`s going to tell you to expect a storm.

But Nancy, this could cause waves again, nothing like Sandy, but there are no barriers on the coastline anymore. This water`s going to go right on in. Winds could be 60, 65 miles per hour. That could knock out more power.

So I don`t know for sure. But all I`m going to tell you is this is what we`re seeing. As the days roll on and the hours unfold, we`ll get a better handle on it for you. This is the last thing anybody wants to see. There could be snow on the back edge of this. We don`t want that, either. You know, we definitely don`t want the cold temperatures, but we`ve got that. So all we have to do is just to hang in there and see what pans out and what Mother Nature has in store for us.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Jo-An Tremblay-Shepherd and Christine and David. Schleppy. First to Christine and David Schleppy. This is a story I want the world to hear. Christine and David -- Christine gave birth in a church hall. She could not get to the hospital.

Christine, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Christine, tell us what happened.

CHRISTINE SCHLEPPY: Basically, I went into labor, and I had minor contractions that morning, which was nothing out of the ordinary for me. And as the storm got worse, the contractions got worse.

We decided to -- I called my doctor around 6:30, 7:00 o`clock. She advised me just to relax, drink plenty of fluids, lay on my left side in hopes that it would just go away. Unfortunately, they didn`t. They continued to get stronger. And I called her back and told her...

GRACE: Well, what I`m seeing, Christine, is that it didn`t go away because I`m looking at pictures of an absolutely beautiful baby. Praise the Lord, you gave birth in a church hall. I guess that`s something you never anticipated, right?

CHRISTINE SCHLEPPY: No. My hope was to get to the hospital I was supposed to deliver at which, was Princeton Medical Center.

GRACE: How did you make it to the church hall?

CHRISTINE SCHLEPPY: They got us -- basically, the ambulance picked me up about a little after 8:00 o`clock and headed towards my hospital where I was supposed to -- where I was planning to give birth.

But the ambulance got stuck in some mud and debris, at which point we had to get out of that ambulance and jump into an EMS squad car that was following us, who met another ambulance about 10 minutes down the road. And then they started the route to go to Somerset Medical Center as the alternate hospital.

But because of a tree was down with the one only route to the hospital, they said there was a mobile unit set up where they could take me. At this point, I`m petrified because my son is -- I`m only 35 weeks along in the pregnancy. So he`s five weeks premature being born at this time.

GRACE: With me tonight on the phone is Christine and David Schleppy, who beat the odds, and in the midst of superstorm Sandy, a miracle, their baby born in a church hall.



GRACE: I am here on the streets of New York. The devastation is intense. When I look down the street, half the city is completely pitch black with no electricity, nothing. People are struggling with the cold.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) talk! It`s miserable! Not only living in the dark, it`s so cold inside! The houses -- that`s why you see me sitting in the car.


GRACE: At this hour, we are live in Manhattan, where every single effort is being made to restore power, to restore heat, to ease lines for gasoline, to get the shelves of the grocery stores stocked again.

We are live and taking your calls. Lavina, New Jersey. Hi, Lavina. What`s your question? Do I have Lavina with me? OK, let me know when I`ve got -- Lavina, are you there, dear?


GRACE: OK, when she -- hi, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. My name is Lavina Johnson...

GRACE: Yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... and I`m calling because -- I`m calling because I`m from Paterson, New Jersey, and they`re price gouging with the gas. And we don`t know who to call. Who should we call and who should we get in touch with?

GRACE: Well, the easy answer to that is your attorney general. Matt, please get me a number about who they should call for price gouging. Ma`am, I`m going to get you that number and announce it on the air. So stay tuned, and I`ll get that for you. Also, stay on the line and my producers will give you even more information. That`s a call from New Jersey regarding gas gouging, according to her.

To Barbara in Colorado. Hi, Barbara. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. How is the government helping today with Hurricane Sandy compared to Hurricane Katrina?

GRACE: Good question. Out to you, Rita Cosby. How is the comparison being drawn? Or is that comparison being drawn?

COSBY: Yes, there are a lot of comparisons. And I can tell you because I was there right after Katrina and we were going, Where is everybody, where`s the National Guard, where are the police? Remember, the police even fled, half the police force in New Orleans. It was the Wild West when I got there into New Orleans. It didn`t look like America. It looked crazy.

I will tell you a big, stark contrast. Obviously, still a behemoth task. As you pointed out, half a million people in New York City alone without power right now. The temperature`s getting very cold. People getting frustrated.

But at this point, it looks like the authorities are everywhere. They have this much more under control, and no reports really of major looting at this point. Things are much better, and neighbors are helping neighbors. There seems to be a lot more control over this one. They learned a lot from Katrina.


GRACE: We are live here in the middle of Manhattan, taking your calls.

Right now, I`ve got back with me Christine and David Schleppy. She gave birth in a church hall when she couldn`t make it to the hospital. And I`ve got the hero doctor, Dr. Herman Morchel, who delivered the baby during the storm in the church hall.

With me, the father, David Schleppy. David, what`s your version of what happened? And congratulations, by the way.


GRACE: What happened?

DAVID SCHLEPPY: So as she was going through the hospital -- and we didn`t make it to either of first two because of the storm and the roads being out. We ended up having to go to a trauma unit that they couldn`t even open the tractor-trailer, so they had to move it into the church auditorium. And they weren`t expecting to deliver a baby, but that`s exactly what ended up happening once we showed up.

GRACE: Wow. I think I hear it in the background. To Dr. Herman Morchel. You are being considered a hero tonight, Dr. Morchel. How did the delivery go down?

DR. HERMAN MORCHEL, DELIVERED BABY IN CHURCH HALL (via telephone): Oh, thank you very much. Well, it`s always a happy event in the emergency department when we have a delivery. We`re of course trained. But it`s an unusual occurrence.

And as the father said, we moved all the equipment from our emergency mobile trauma unit into the church hall. So essentially, you know, we made the church hall into an emergency trauma department using the equipment from the mobile unit.

We were set up. And we were pre-positioned there that evening. So we were expecting, you know, road closures. The New Jersey State Department of Health had pre-positioned us from Hackensack University Medical Center to be able to handle just such an occurrence when ambulances could not make it to the regular hospitals for...

GRACE: You know, Dr. Morchel, you`re scaring me because when I gave birth to twins, Lucy and I nearly died. It was a very touch-and-go situation. And the thought of this mom, Ms. Schleppy, turning up at a church hall and you happen to be there and you happen to be prepared such as you were, when we are hearing the stories of devastation. To Dr. Herman Morchel and to the Schleppys, congratulations. And all I can say is praise the Lord that a hero was standing by and a new baby is born in the midst of Sandy.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s nobody around. You don`t know where to go. You`re trying to get out of a window. You know, you`re up to your neck in water. It`s freezing. The wind is blowing. You don`t know what`s going to happen, really. You see your life pass.

NANCY GRACE, HOST: I am live here in the streets of New York. As you can see, the trash is piling up. I can`t (ph) tell you that the videos and the pictures you are seeing are not giving the full story.


GRACE: We are live here in New York and taking your calls. Very quickly, I`ve got the answer for you, Lavina in New Jersey. Ellie, what`s the number for price gouging in New Jersey, please?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE CHIEF EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Yes. If you`re in New Jersey, you can call the toll free number, it is 1-800-242-5846. They also have a Division of Consumer Affairs Facebook page if you`re able to get online. And there are also 1-800 numbers and websites if you can get online for both New York and Connecticut, if you want to report price gouging there.

GRACE: I`m going to go straight out to the lines. First, I want to go back to Dr. Herman Morchel.

Everybody, in the midst of all that we are seeing here in New York, still over three million without power, the temperatures are going down and according to Sater, Tom Sater, meteorologist, another storm may be headed this way.

A bright spot. Beacons of courage, acts of kindness, all across this area devastated by superstorm Sandy.

Dr. Morchel, when you saw her coming in, what did you think?

DR. HERMAN MORCHEL, ER DOCTOR, HACKENSACK UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER, DELIVER BABY DURING STORM IN CHURCH HALL: Well, we were, of course, quite surprised. But we had a whole staff to do the initial evaluation. We have nurses, respiratory therapists, various technicians. And we had a system set up to do initial triage to evaluate the patients that were coming through the door.


MORCHEL: And dress them for priority, and of course given her presentation, she was very, very high priority.

GRACE: Was it a normal vaginal delivery?

MORCHEL: I will let the patient comment --

GRACE: Oh, yes. You`re right. That`s patient privilege.


MORCHEL: Fairly standard delivery. But of course, you know, any time you`re outside of the emergency -- outside of the O.B. unit, it`s of course, you know, extra challenging. But we were able --

GRACE: Well, Doctor, I learned the hard way that no delivery is going to be SOP, no delivery is going to be standard. And you did all this, Dr. Morchel, in a church hall.

Everybody, we are taking your calls. Out to Donna in Michigan. Hi, Donna. What`s your question?

DONNA, CALLER FROM MICHIGAN: People knew this storm was coming. And they didn`t evacuate. And shouldn`t people be held responsible for endangering their children? There should be -- they should be held accountable for this. I mean, they should have got out in time.

GRACE: Well, Donna in Michigan, you know, so many people did not believe that Sandy was going to be as devastating as it has turned out to be. Many people ended up getting stranded. And when you hear, for instance, what this mom is going through, the one that lost her two little boys, as she was risking her own life to try to save them.

Hey, you know, Monday morning quarterbacking, looking back, you`ve got 20/20 vision. It`s not always that way when you`re in the moment.

Back out to you, Mike Galanos. Explain to me what is going on around you now.

MIKE GALANOS, ANCHOR, HLN: Very desolate, Nancy. I`m in Toms River. Behind me that way is Seaside Heights, and we`ve seen all the pictures of devastation at Seaside Heights, the boardwalk and the roller coaster that`s in the ocean.

And then a short drive this way about 40 minutes south, that`s where I was today, that`s Long Beach Island and that small community of Beach Haven. What I`m seeing the heart of it is people trying to pick up the pieces, Nancy. And I can`t shake the images, I can`t shake the images of a mom and a son as I walked out of their house, and we had just helped them pick up the refrigerator and food is spilling out of it. It`s basically their lives spilling out before them.

GRACE: And on the other hand aside from that scenario, we have people like Ryan Noland, who`s flying in from San Francisco to New York to help with the relief efforts.

Ryan, thank you for being with us. What has prompted you to fly all the way across the country to help?

RYAN NOLAND, FLYING FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO NY TO HELP IN RELIEF EFFORTS: Well -- and thank you, Nancy, for having me on the show. What originally turned out to be a tech conference and watching the videos and hearing these stories of my friends and their families that are in New Jersey and New York, I needed to extend my trip to an additional 10 days.

Ultimately, you know, I`ve done a lot of volunteer work here in the city working at the various shelters, you know, working in think tanks in South America, and I just felt that it was my calling to really contribute and to give back to a city that I lived in and love dearly.

GRACE: You know, Ryan Noland, all I can say on behalf of everyone here in New York is thank you.

With me right now special guest, Police Chief Ralph Verdi, organizing evacuations and relief efforts in Bergen County.

Chief, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: Chief, your city is especially hard hit. Can you describe what`s going on around you right now?

VERDI: Right now we`re still about 75 percent of the town is without power, gas. We still have several streets impassable by flood waters. Right now just EMS and police and civilians coming out to help people move to different areas. Right now we`re still in total devastation.

Thirty-three years as a police officer and I`ve never seen anything like this. We thought we had the hurricane licked when all of a sudden a wall of water just came up and just flooded our town. Suddenly our town is devastated. The Hackensack river came up over the banks. It breached the levees and just flooded us out.

GRACE: Chief Ralph Verdi is with me. Police Chief Verdi, organizing evacuations and relief efforts in one of the hardest hit areas of all.

Chief, when you say you`ve never seen anything like this in all of your years policing, what do you mean by that?

VERDI: The devastation, Nancy, houses with garage doors knocked off, water went right through them. Families devastated. Some families had to split up kids to one aunt and uncle in a different location. It`s heartbreaking. These were a blue-collar small community of 11,000 located about nine miles west of New York City. And it`s a tight-knit community. And to see your neighbors -- I live here, luckily my house was spared. But when you see your neighbors and friends going through what they`re going through, it`s a hard thing to deal with.

GRACE: With me right now is a special mother, Amy Cahill. Her 2- year-old child has cancer. And I`m sad to report tonight when she was evacuated to save their lives, her home was robbed.

Miss Cahill, thank you for being with us. She`s joining me from Mastic Beach.

Miss Cahill, what happened?

AMY CAHILL, MOM OF 2-YEAR-OLD WITH CANCER, EVACUATED FROM HOME BUT WERE ROBBED: Hi, Nancy. Thanks for having me. We evacuated, as we were mandated. We were told that our houses would be safe. There would be extra patrolling. And we evacuated and they`ve broke my window, came in, stole, you know, electronics, televisions, game systems, et cetera.

GRACE: Miss Cahill, this is especially difficult because your child, your 2-year-old, Jonathan, is battling cancer. How is he tonight?

CAHILL: He is doing well. He`s finishing up his last round of chemotherapy. We had to evacuate because a lot of his devices need electricity to run. Thankfully we just got our power back on. He was on the priority list. But he`s hanging in.

GRACE: When you went back in the home and discovered that someone had actually broken in while you were evacuated, what was your first thought, Miss Cahill?

CAHILL: My first thought is just feeling violated. Not knowing who was in my stuff, why they took it. You walk into my living room and we have every card and every prayer that everybody sent us on my son`s behalf knowing that somebody could come into a home looking at how hard we`re struggling, fighting for our son`s life, and how hard we`re struggling just to make ends meet with the traveling and that they could actually still go forth and walk out of my home with the little bit that we do have.

GRACE: Miss Cahill, how can we help? Is there a fund set up? Is there an 800 number? Is there any way that we can help you and your son Jonathan?

CAHILL: Jonathan does have a page. My daughter -- it was her outlet when she found out her little brother got sick. She`s 16. It`s called Hope for Jonathan. And it`s on Facebook.

GRACE: Hope for Jonathan on Facebook. We will help, Amy.

CAHILL: I`ve had so many amazing people, when my closest friends walked away, when one door closes, another opens. And as long as I have my children, that`s all that matters. Everything else is materialistic.


GRACE: We are live here in Manhattan bringing you the latest. I can tell you from being out on the streets of the city, the video and the photos that you are seeing are not telling the whole story. But amidst all of the chaos and near "Mad Max" scenario in many places, there are glimmers of courage that I have witnessed myself.

I want to give you that Web site right now. It is Hope for Jonathan on Facebook. This mom`s 2-year-old son battling cancer. She evacuates to save her life. Comes back, her home has been robbed.

Please help Amy Cahill and this little boy, 2-year-old Jonathan.

Joining me right now other special guest, Todd James, Red Cross executive director, stationed in Atlantic City.

Todd, thank you for being with us. Tell me the conditions there in Atlantic City.

TODD JAMES, RED CROSS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, STATIONED IN ATLANTIC CITY: Thank you, Nancy. The conditions are getting better. Recovery has begun. But it`s still definitely feeling the aftereffects of this storm. Power is still out in a lot of the communities. No heat, no lights.

I do hear -- I heard Governor Christie say earlier today they are hoping to have that restored quickly, which is very good news. A lot of damage in Atlantic City especially down along the shoreline. I`m sure many people have seen the pictures of huge chunks of the historic boardwalk that were destroyed.

GRACE: Oh, yes.

JAMES: And I got to tell you, I`ve been down to that area myself several times. But coming back from that area the first day after the storm, we found piles of the boardwalk a few blocks up Atlantic Avenue, which is one of the main streets here in Atlantic City where the flood had deposited them after it was all said and done. So cleanup has begun. The crews are working hard here to get the streets open. But it`s still the first few steps of a long recovery.

GRACE: You know what, you know what, Todd James -- to everybody, this is your chance to help. If you don`t want to sit back in your chairs and wish you could help, here`s the way you can do it. 1-800-RED-CROSS. Go to

There are so many ways you can make a difference like Iqbal Mughal, joining me right now, who rescued a man from the flood waters.

Mr. Mughal, thank you for being with us.


GRACE: It`s just a real honor to have you with us. Sir, what happened? You rescued a man from flood waters. How did that happen?

MUGHAL: Oh, OK. Actually, we lived on another boulevard in Staten Island. And around 6:00 once the water was getting -- tides were going up, the water was crossing the boardwalk. So we -- I and a couple of our neighbors, we tried to open the (INAUDIBLE) for water to go into the wetland.

While we were doing that the water was getting rising. So we came home because my wife and other people called me to come home. So while we came home within a few minutes the water gets so high like up three, four feet in 10, 15 minutes. So in the meanwhile my sister-in-law who was in our home, she called me and said somebody`s at the backside of her house with this five-feet high fence covered.

You know, so I went back and I saw a guy who are other side of the fence in the water. And he was crying for the help. I called my nephew and my son. They came right away from inside. And because the fence was five feet high so he cannot come inside so my nephew and my son put hands outside from the fence so he put his feet on the hands and he come to the top of the fence --


GRACE: And you saved his life. You know, Mr. Mughal, I`m sure you never imagined that tonight you would be named a hero.


GRACE: We are live here in New York bringing you the latest. And having been out on the streets, I can tell you the video is not portraying the entire picture. But amidst the devastation, there are acts of bravery.

Joining me right now Jo-An Tremblay Shepherd, her premature baby evacuated from NYU hospital.

Miss Tremblay Shepherd, thank you for being with us. God bless your baby. What happened?

JO-AN TREMBLAY SHEPHERD, HER PREMATURE BABY EVACUATED FROM NYU HOSPITAL: Hi, Nancy. We were in the NICU when the power went off at NYU, and yes, things got really scary for a moment there. And all the monitors went off, the lights went off. And yes. The nurses that were surrounding me basically just said --


GRACE: You know, we`re seeing shots of your premature baby right now. Both of mine were preemies.


GRACE: That`s extremely dangerous. How did they evacuate him and keep him alive?

SHEPHERD: They hooked him up to an oxygen tank and Nurse Sandy who`s taking care of him on Monday grabbed him and basically walked down nine flights of stairs. So -- nine flights of stairs down to the lobby. It was pretty scary.


GRACE: We are joining you live tonight in the center of the Sandy devastation.

Out to Theresa Howard, organized a power party to help her neighborhood.

What are you doing, Theresa, to help?

THERESA HOWARD, HEADING UP NEIGHBORHOOD RELIEF EFFORTS IN HOBOKEN: Hi, Nancy. We did something really simple. Our block was really fortunate. We had absolutely nothing wrong on our block. And it was just a really simple thing to set up and we kind of rallied all our neighbors and people put up power cords and we`re serving coffee. We started it yesterday morning. And it ended up going all and we were out there again today in addition to kind of rallying the troops and making a big run to Wal-Mart to buy batteries and some supplies when we heard that our city was running out of supplies last night.

GRACE: You know what, Theresa Howard, you don`t know how much battery supplies and a hot cup of coffee can mean to people.

To Andrew Gounardes, helping residents in Brooklyn. Andrew, what are you doing to help?

ANDREW GOUNARDES, HELPING RESIDENTS IN BROOKLYN, RUNNING FOR STATE SENATE: Hey, Nancy. What we`re trying to do is we`re collecting toys for kids that lost everything in their homes out in Garretson Beach, Brooklyn. Garretson was an area that wasn`t evacuated. Because they weren`t told to leave so neighbors were taken by surprise and the water swept in, they lost everything.

And so we`re just trying to help some of the families and some of the kids who are now in shelters all across Brooklyn, you know, at least have some semblance of a normal life.

GRACE: Andrew, my children are about to turn 5 years old this coming weekend, and that really touches my heart that you were going into these shelters and giving them toys.

Speaking of children, Jo-An Tremblay Shepherd, her premature baby evacuated from NYU. And I`m happy to report tonight is alive and doing well.

Jo-An, you know how touch and go it is with premature children, right?

SHEPHERD: Absolutely, yes. Absolutely.

GRACE: As you look back on it, what are your thoughts?

SHEPHERD: I`m just so happy that, you know, Jackson was actually surrounded by the NICU nurses at NYU. Really my heart goes to them. They`re the ones that really stepped up to the plate. It was an emergency situation, and they did what they do best. And that`s taking care of little babies that are --

GRACE: You know what, Jo-An? You`re absolutely right about the people at the hospital, but I guarantee you there were angels all around you saving your baby. God bless the baby.

SHEPHERD: Absolutely. He`s doing well. That`s the important part.

GRACE: Everyone, ABC`s hit show "What Would You Do?" up next. I`ll see you tomorrow 8:00 sharp Eastern. And until then, keep the faith, friend. Good night.