Michael Terrasi outside his damaged home
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Storm Sandy: should voting be postponed on Staten Island?

A day before the US presidential election, people on Staten Island in New York are dealing with death and destruction rather than democracy.

Michael Terrasi and Laura Gatti live in one of the communities near South Beach which was most exposed to the worst of storm Sandy.

They fled their home on foot as the water levels reached their waists and have lost most of their belongings. Their neighbour Jimmy died when he tried to escape, crushed by debris in the flood water

"You can't think clearly and elect whom you want if you are thinking about what food you are going to eat tomorrow and where you are going to stay," says Michael.

The election will go on despite New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warning that as many as 143,000 voters will have to find new places to vote other than their regular polling locations.

The BBC spent the day on Staten Island to see how residents are coping in the aftermath of the storm.

Produced by Anna Bressanin; camera by Ilya Shnitser

Amateur video of the beginning of the storm courtesy of Laura Gatti