(CNN) – Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of Staten Island said the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy on Staten Island three weeks ago will last beyond the physical damage.
"We're through the very first stage where a lot of people are in shock and don't even realize the magnitute and gravity of just how devasting this is," Grimm said Friday on CNN's "Starting Point."
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He continued: "But now a little bit of depression starts to set it. The reality that they have to rebuild, that they're still in shelters for some. That's a reality that's very, very difficult to handle."
New York City announced plans to demolish 200 homes that sustained the worst storm damage, including many in Staten Island. The congressman, who recently won re-election to a second term, said several of the displaced families struggle with accessing credit or collecting resources–such as security deposits and first month's rent–required to move into other housing.
Grimm expressed concern that as time goes on, the storm's damage will get less attention and "donations will start to slow down," despite ongoing needs.
"Although the very first stage is over, the second stage–and there are several stages after that–I think the second stage is the hardest. This is where we're really going to need volunteers and support the most," he said. "This storm is not over. Not even close."
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.