Death toll in Rockaways rises to four

Death toll in Rockaways rises to four
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Karen Frantz

Outside the Rockaway home where a man died in his flooded basement during Hurricane Sandy, remnants of the storm were still apparent with mud thick on the streets and a nearby large felled tree.

Mail carrier Rick Gold, 67, was found dead in his home on Beach 133rd Street Tuesday after he appeared to have drowned inside his basement, police said.

Gold’s neighbor, Mychal McNicholas, said he got a phone message from Gold’s wife, Linda, asking him to check on Rick because she had not heard from him. He tried calling Gold’s home, but there was no answer and knocks on the door were not responded to Tuesday, he said.

“I had a feeling there was something wrong,” McNicholas said.

He flagged down fire marshals passing through in a truck and told them he thought his neighbor was in trouble.

One of the marshals took the door away with his shoulder and at first found no one, but then he looked through a basement window.

“And he said, ‘Yes, we have a DOA,’” McNicholas said.

He said police were called to the scene and spent hours pumping 10 feet of water out of the basement before they removed Gold’s body.

McNicholas said that in addition to Gold’s wife, he had two adult daughters. He said Gold was an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan and the two would often talk about baseball.

The Rockaways were pummeled by Monday’s superstorm, with four deaths in the area reported by police as of Thursday.

The latest victim, Eden Toussaint, 58, of Beach 69th Street was found in his basement Wednesday and pronounced dead by EMS, cops said.

Three people, including Gold, were found dead Tuesday, police said. Authorities said Henry Sullivan, 57, probably drowned inside his flooded home on Beach 136th Street.

Nancy Sorenson, 50, was discovered unconscious by police in her home on Beach 124th Street, police said, and emergency responders pronounced her dead at the scene.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.