11/01/2012 02:40 pm ET Updated Nov 01, 2012

Joseph Harasym, Staten Island Teen, Is One Of Many Amazing Hurricane Sandy Survivors

As the Northeast begins paving a road to recovery following the widespread destruction wreaked by Hurricane Sandy, moving stories of survival and heroism are beginning to emerge.

On Thursday, the New York Daily News shared the story of a New York teenager who somehow managed to weather the worst of the storm while marooned alone in his darkened, waterlogged house.

Joseph Harasym, 17, had been left alone at his Staten Island home on Monday night after his mom and older brother, Gregory, stepped out to drive the family's two vehicles to higher ground. "It was like a tsunami," Gregory, 21, said. "You could see the water coming down the street."

According to the Daily News, Gregory and his mother had no idea that the incoming floodwater would very quickly make the return home impossible. As Joseph's frantic mother called 911 through the night "begging for a rescue crew" to be sent to save her son, the teen did all he could to stay alive.

Miraculously, even though floodwaters filled the basement and first floor of his home, the teen survived. The following morning, Joseph swam "nearly a block" to a friend's house. He was eventually rescued by a family friend in a rowboat.

Visit the New York Daily News for the full story.

In Maryland, a journalist and his family escaped death by a hair when a tree landed on their home, CBS News reports.

"I've covered a lot of tragedies as a reporter, covered a lot of trees down. But this time, it literally came home...literally, happened to me," said Bruce Leshan, a reporter at WUSA in Washington, D.C.

According to ABC News, a New Jersey couple managed to not only escape the wrath of the storm but also welcomed the birth of a baby boy earlier this week.

On Monday, as Garden State residents were warned to stay indoors and seek shelter, 34-year-old Christine Schleppy went into labor in her home in Skillman, N.J.

Risking the hazardous conditions outdoors, first responders attempted to transport Schleppy and her husband, David, to a hospital in Princeton, Patch reports. Flooding and dangerous road conditions made that impossible, however.

"We knew there were many trees down and roads getting closed left and right," David told ABC News. "It was definitely stressful."

After their ambulance became trapped in the mud en route to Princeton, the couple hopped into a fire ambulance that brought them to a mobile emergency medical unit that had been set up by Hackensack University Medical Center. The Schleppys welcomed a healthy baby boy named Liam Alexander on Monday night, writes Patch.com.



11/04/2012 12:26 AM EDT

PHOTO: A Marathon Wedding Proposal, Minus The Marathon

HuffPost's Katie Bindley reports:

Like all the competitors who trained for the 2012 NYC Marathon, Hannah Vahaba will not be running the race this year. But she also will never forget her moment at the finish line. After traveling in from Atlanta, Vahaba picked up a marriage proposal in Central Park on Saturday without having to traverse the 26.2-mile course.

"This is my fiance," said Vahaba, 31, who had tears running down her face as she stood in Central Park where the race would have ended, just moments after Martin O'Donoghue had proposed.

marriage proposal cancelled nyc marathon

Photo by Damon Scheleur

Read the full story here.

11/04/2012 12:25 AM EDT

Check Donation Lists

Be sure to check donation lists to see what items are needed. For example, at one Staten Island donation center, there is a critical need for batteries batteries batteries, candles, matches, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, pet food, baby supplies, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Clothing isn't needed as much at that center.

-Catharine Smith, HuffPost

11/03/2012 10:42 PM EDT

Brooklyn Regions Still Lack Electricity, Heat and Water Days After Storm

HuffPost's Tim Stenovec reports:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which killed at least 48 people in New York when it battered the Northeast last week, frustrated residents in this corner of South Brooklyn are coping without electricity, heat and running water.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 10:18 PM EDT

On Long Island, Cuomo demands Accountability from Utilities

Huntington Patch reports:

At a massive food distribution event at Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Cuomo said power has been restored to 60 percent of the New York metropolitan area.

LIPA reported Saturday evening that 460,000 customers remained without power, down from more than 900,000 initially.

"I've warned the utility companies repeatedly they operate under a state charter, essentially," Cuomo said. "The utility companies are not happy with my warning and frankly, I don't care."

"The customers are not happy. The bill payers are not happy and the people without power are not happy," Cuomo said. "People are suffering. It is an issue of safety and if the utilities were not prepared we will hold them accountable."

Read the full story on Huntington Patch.

11/03/2012 9:38 PM EDT

Gasoline Shortage Likely To Last For Several More Days

Even as power returns to parts of the region assailed by Hurricane Sandy, millions of drivers seeking gasoline appear likely to face at least several more days of persistent shortages.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:50 PM EDT

Behind @ConEdison: The 27 Year-Old Preventing Panic, One Tweet At A Time

HuffPost's Bianca Bosker:

On Saturday, 27-year-old Kate Frasca was manning Con Edison’s Twitter account, @ConEdison, responding to customers’ frustrations, questions, praise and criticism at an average clip of one tweet every six minutes.

Read the full story here.

11/03/2012 8:35 PM EDT

Estimate Says 600 Million Gallons Of Water Hit Mass Transit System


Roughly 600 M gallons of storm water infiltrated the nation’s busiest and oldest underground mass transit system... http://t.co/5jMXDhRc

11/03/2012 8:15 PM EDT

$12 Million Donated So Far To NYC Mayor's Fund For Recovery

@ MikeBloomberg :

If you would like to donate: visit http://t.co/9w8egqxD So far $12 million has been contributed. 100% of funds go to #Recovery efforts.

11/03/2012 7:52 PM EDT

Don't Touch Downed Power Lines

@ usNWSgov :

Post #Sandy reminders: never touch a downed power line or anything touching one. Washing your hands prevents illness. #NWS #CDC

11/03/2012 7:17 PM EDT

Volunteers Arrive In Staten Island

@ NYCMayorsOffice :

Volunteers Descend on Staten Island Neighborhood http://t.co/9aP3ggJN