Updated: Sep. 02, 2021, 11:43 p.m. | Published: Sep. 02, 2021, 7:42 p.m.

By Paul Liotta | pliotta@siadvance.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Remnants of Hurricane Ida devastated parts of Staten Island Wednesday night, and a day later local politicians are calling for action.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, City Councilman Joe Borelli, Deputy Borough President Ed Burke and representatives from the office of State Sen. Andrew Lanza and City Council Minority Leader Steven Matteo held a press conference in Westerleigh Thursday calling for President Biden and Gov. Kathy Hochul to proceed with a disaster declaration that includes relief for homeowners.

“There has been rampant flooding throughout homes, businesses, subway stations, and streets,” Malliotakis (R-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) said in a statement issued before the press conference, calling for action from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“It is imperative that President Biden authorize FEMA to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by this storm and provide financial assistance to the city, state and residents affected,” she said.

Thursday’s press conference, held at the intersection of Caswell Avenue and Willow Road East, took place in an area that saw some of the most significant devastation on the Island.

David Carr, who is Matteo’s chief of staff and a Republican candidate to replace him when he leaves office at the end of the year, said things got so bad for one resident in the area that Matteo coordinated with the NYPD to have officers rescue the person from their home.

Matteo said Thursday that he’s been in constant contact with relevant agencies and that members of his staff have been helping people through the claims process.

“This storm has been devastating for Staten Islanders, and it’s going to take a lot of working together and a lot of compassion for us all to recover,” Matteo said. “I have also asked Sanitation to be flexible in cleaning up, as many residents are going to need time to assess the damage and just get back on their feet.”

Multiple residents at the press conference said the water in their homes rose above their waists. And, destroyed cars could still be seen littered around the street. Just below the politicians’ feet, water still draining from the homes could be seen flowing into a catch basin.

Borelli (R-South Shore) said the residents’ efforts helping each other through the night and in the early hours of their recovery showed the importance of community on Staten Island.

“I really was shocked to see how many smiling faces and enthused faces that I saw, which kind of sounds odd,” Borelli said. “Today, out here this morning we see what Staten Islanders do best — its neighbors helping neighbors.”

The councilman spent his evening helping a friend in Eltingville bail water from his basement as it rushed in from the street. He said in a little over an hour the water had gone from just above his ankles to over his waist.

Now, Borelli said the federal government needs to send the people who can get the money to those that Ida impacted.

“We need a different type of help,’’ he said. “We need help from the federal government — we need an army of pencil pushers and bean counters. We need the people to come in from FEMA, from the national flood insurance program to come in and start processing claims,’’ as quickly as possible.

The politicians recommended that the people impacted by the storm keep a thorough record of what they lost during the storm.

Tannousis (R-East Shore/South Brooklyn), a former prosecutor, said his strongest legal recommendation would be to ensure that they meticulously track the damage to their property.

“You have to document everything, exhaust every avenue,” he said. “Obviously, we are calling on the governor to include individuals and households in this (disaster) declaration.”

Hochul has declared a state of emergency in the state, but is in the process of filing for a disaster declaration with the Biden Administration. Malliotakis said she expects the declaration to come as soon as this evening.

For Lanza (R-South Shore), who was driving back to the Island from Albany on Thursday, his focus was looking forward to how to address infrastructure needs to protect people from larger storms. Hochul called Lanza and his state colleagues back to the state’s capitol for an emergency session this week.

“Staten Islanders are bailing out,’’ he said. “They’ll be bailing out for the next few days. If you really want to do something, stop wasting billions of dollars on programs that never seem to help anyone and actually bolster and make our infrastructure more resilient.”

Borough President James Oddo, a long-time advocate of improved infrastructure on Staten Island, said he spent much of Wednesday night clearing catch basins to ensure the drainage of water flowing down his Dongan Hills block from Richmond Road.

On Thursday, he toured damage to Richmond University Medical Center with Mayor Bill de Blasio, and toured flooded parts of Midland Beach with Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams.

The outgoing borough president said the kind of flooding seen from Ida was, in part, due to past failures at addressing infrastructure needs.

“In the last 10 years, we had $500 in investment in first-time storm sewers,” he said. “That’s a wonderful thing. I thank Mayor (Mike) Blooomberg, Mayor (Bill) de Blasio, but it’s 40 or 50 years after the fact, so we are still playing catch-up to development from decades ago.”

State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) toured Midland Beach with Oddo and Adams, and pointed out that many Staten Islanders impacted by the storm suffered a similar fate less than two weeks ago after the remnants of Hurricane Henri impacted the Island.

Henri set a record for single-hour rainfall in Central Park, but Ida broke that record Wednesday night.

Savino, who’s been working with relevant agencies since Henri, said that during her visits around Staten Island, she had listened to multiple homeowners who said their properties had never experienced the kind of flooding seen this year.

“I have been slugging through the mud, sewage and debris in people’s homes since Henri hit us last week,” she said. “This storm’s accumulation was unprecedented. The next administration is going to have to figure out the infrastructure issue because we can’t control the weather.”

Assemblyman Mike Cusick (D-Mid-Island) echoed his colleagues in their search for improved drainage and sewer infrastructure, and said he’d be working with the new governor to try to address those needs.

“Last night we experienced a storm of unprecedented proportions,’’ he said. “The stories I have heard and the pictures and videos I have seen from my constituents are heartbreaking. My team and I are doing all we can to serve as a resource as we begin our recovery.”

Assemblyman Charles Fall (D-North Shore) expressed optimism that the storm would help bring Staten Islanders together.

“In the aftermath of last night’s storm, this is the time that we have to collectively come together to help our fellow neighbors and family,” he said. “If you need assistance, please call 311 and always know that my team and I are here to assist you.”

Assemblyman Mike Reilly (R-South Shore) said he and his team monitored the progress of Wednesday night’s storm on social media, and, like his colleagues, advised Staten Islanders to ensure that they document any damage.

“What we saw was widespread flooding throughout Staten Island that consumed low level dwellings and trapped dozens of vehicles, as well as scattered power outages,” he said. “It is clear to me that the damage was severe, not just in my district, but all across Staten Island. I will be working closely with my federal, state and local government colleagues, as well as community stakeholders, to figure out how we will recover.”

City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore), who’s been on vacation this week, described the damage as “shocking.”

“I would say that everyone is stunned by the amount of rain that Ida dumped on us. Almost everyone here suffered from this unprecedented weather event,” she said. “I’ll be working with my partners in government to repair and rebuild and to ensure that FEMA will deliver assistance to our residents for the loss of property.”