Connor and Brandon Moore, aged two and four, died when they were swept from their mother’s arms in Staten Island after her car stalled and she went to seek help at the height of the storm.
Glenda Moore was turned away from one house by a man who refused to let her in. She clung to some railings but her children were snatched away at the height of the storm by the force of the winds.
Their bodies were found a few days later by police.
Her husband Damien, originally from Portnoo in Donegal was a New York City employee working on hurricane disaster prevention at the time.
Father Philip Daly, a priest in the Donegal Parish of Portnoo, told the Irish Independent that the tragedy was very hard to accept, especially the failure of the neighbor to take the mother in.
"I think that what added to the awfulness of the situation was the lack of support".
He added there "was no support forthcoming from some of the people in that area, when Glenda went to the doors looking for help, where they basically closed the doors in her face so this compounded the awfulness of the situation."
The grief-stricken grandparents of the two boys were being comforted by neighbors after the tragedy.
Glenda Moore left her home in Great Kills Staten Island at 9pm to drive to her mother’s house in Brooklyn to seek safety. She packed her kids’ Halloween costumes into her Ford Explorer car.
However, the storm surge swamped her SUV and stalled it.
She jumped from the car with her two children and sought refuge in a nearby home where the owner refused to let her in.
Her kids were then torn from her at the height of the storm. She called out for them all that night, barely surviving herself
Police found the little bodies three days later, in a marsh a quarter-mile away.