Rep. Bob Turner has lost his New York house after it burned down, along with at least 80 other flooded homes, due to damage from Hurricane Sandy, according to press reports.
The Republican lawmaker fled the home and he and his wife are safe, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Turner’s home stood in one of the hardest-hit places in New York, the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, which lies at the western tip of the Rockaway Peninsula.
In a statement, Turner thanked first responders for their work and directed constituents to his website and his Facebook page for information on emergency contacts and relief efforts for the area.
"My thoughts and prayers are with all of my fellow New Yorkers and the many others who are experiencing loss as a result of Hurricane Sandy. ... I, along with many other Breezy Point residents, lost our homes last night and I am grateful that my family and I are safe after this destructive storm. I hope you will join me in lending a hand to those who were less fortunate and keep everyone impacted by this storm in your thoughts and prayers."
The superstorm pummeled New York and the New Jersey coastline on Monday, causing major flooding and power outages in the New York City area.
Turner, it seems, was acutely aware of the potential damage the storm could inflict. In a statement posted on his website Saturday, he urged residents to stock up on emergency supplies and food.
“Unfortunately, we along the coastline of New York know full well the capacity of storms to rip through and cause flooding, knock out power, and inflict serious damage to our homes and businesses,” he wrote. “As Hurricane Sandy makes its way towards New York City over the weekend, I am urging everyone to take appropriate precautionary measures.”
This is not the first time a Member has lost a home to a hurricane.
Then-Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and then-Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) both lost their seaside homes in Mississippi when Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast in 2005.
The two Members joined a lawsuit against State Farm, an insurance company that was slow to pay claims on their homes, as well as scores of other destroyed properties.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.