“It won't be as bad as they think it will be," she predicted.
Red Hook was one of 26 housing developments located in low-lying areas along the city’s waterfront that NYCHA targeted for evacuation late Sunday.
Cops with bullhorns drove building to building and NYCHA workers knocked on doors, warning some 46,000 residents in these developments to leave immediately.
To urge them out, NYCHA shut down elevators, hot water and heat as of 7 p.m. Sunday. But for many, that deprivation wasn’t enough to force them out.
"Almost everyone is still inside. No one is leaving," said an NYPD officer standing in the lobby of a building at Unity Towers in Coney Island. "No one thinks this is a big deal. They just won't listen."
By late Monday, as the waters of New York Harbor began creeping higher, a spot check at several NYCHA projects found hundreds of residents reluctant to give ground.
"I'm staying no matter what," said Evelyn Ortiz, 36, who lives in the United Towers on the fifth floor with her mom. "I'm not too worried. Storms come and storms go." At the Haber Houses a few blocks west down Surf Avenue, some 450 senior citizens hunkered down as the wind could be heard howling through the building.
"I'm staying. I am scared but I hope it will pass," said Kymal Raginov, 67. "If anything happens, the police will save me."
A frustrated police officer went door to door at Haber, seeking names and number of residents staying through the storm. "These people are unbelievable," one officer muttered as he was told a woman was staying with three young children.
Back in Red Hook, an unfazed Rosemarie Garcia chose to stick it out with her 76-year-old mother in their third-floor apartment. She grew up in North Carolina and was - sort of - used to hurricanes.
“I don’t understand why they shut down the elevators,” she said, noting that NYCHA did not turn off elevators, heat and hot water at Red Hook during Tropical Storm Irene last year.
A block away, wheelchair-bound Odessa Williams, 82, expected to be trapped in her sixth floor apartment for the duration of the storm while the elevators remain out of service.
Her daughter, Diane Bowers, spent the night there Sunday and feared what would happen if Hurricane Sandy knocks out the lights.
“She's scared if the power goes off there will be water bugs," Diane said. “She hates water bugs.”