Rentas had faith in the 15-foot cement wall that separates their apartment from the bay across the street. But around 8 p.m., a giant wave crashed over the wall, sending water gushing through the apartment windows.

“I opened the front door and it was like someone had picked up our house and put in back down on the edge of the ocean,” Rentas said. “Our neighbor’s car floated into our driveway, and it was leaking gas into the water. You could smell it.”

Staten Islanders tell of heart-stopping rescues, heartbreaking losses as borough death toll mounts

Very little has been widely reported about what happened in Staten Island.