The mandatory order was given the weekend before Sandy even hit. Lower Manhattan fell within that zone and yet Anthony Narh, a garage attendant, was working at the Empire Parking Garage on Laight Street on the night of Sandy and he never made it out.
By many accounts, the parking garage was a location no one should have been. According to The Nation magazine, a woman who lived nearby came back to her apartment to pick up some last minute belongings when she ran into Narh on the night Sandy struck. When she asked him why he was working, Narh said he had to because the boss called him in to watch over the luxury cars that remained during the Superstorm.
“I think it’s irresponsible. I don’t see how that’s defensible. It applies to everybody. You can’t take the word of your employer when the city government has told you to do something else,” commented on resident, who evacuated during Sandy.
When PIX11 went to the Empire Parking Garage seeking answers, we found no one and only a picture of Narh taped up in his memory. At the bottom of the ramp, where residents say water rushed down like a waterfall, a damaged Porsche, BMW and Range Rover and other luxury cars were all that remained. Police said Narh was found inside one of the vehicles in the garage the morning after the storm.
When PIX11 reached Empire over the phone, we were only told there would be no comment.
In the meantime, the city said they could arrest and fine those who defy mandatory evacuation orders, though that did not happen during Sandy. As a result, however, many lives were lost. In Narh’s case, the defiance it seems came not from him but instead his employer.
The NYPD said their investigation continues, but there is no criminality involved. The Empire Parking Garage remains closed.