NEW YORK — Eugene Contrubis heard the many warnings about Hurricane Sandy but decided to ride it out in his drafty, one-story bungalow at 162 Kiswick St., eight blocks from the beach in Staten Island. Soft-spoken and frail, he was a retired Police Department clerk who wrote poetry, enjoyed chess, and adored his nieces. When they were children, he hung a swing from a tree in his yard for them to play on.
Contrubis had lived alone since his mother’s death a few years ago. He had outlasted storms before. This one would be no different, he thought.