A grieving neighbor of a Queens family who died in their flooded basement apartment during Ida claims police passed up a chance to save the couple and toddler.
Nancy Pico, 49, told The Post NYPD officers were evacuating the building during Wednesday’s historic torrential flooding, hours before the couple were found dead — and she unsuccessfully pleaded with them to break down the family’s door.
Pico said she’s lived on the second floor of 44-60 64th Street in Flushing for seven years, and saw neighbor Ang Gelu Lama come home from work at 7 p.m. Wednesday, before the worst of the storm lashed the city.
Sometime around 10 p.m., eight NYPD officers, “strong men,” she said, came to evacuate the building as water rose, but the cops chose not to force their way into the apartment to evacuate Lama, 50, Mingma Sherpa, 48, and Lobsang Lama, 2, according to Pico.
“I asked the police to go inside” to check on the family, Pico said.
“They came in four or five cars. Then they come ask me, ‘You sure they are inside?’”
When Pico told police she saw Lama come home, they allegedly replied, “’No, we have to make sure,’” according to the concerned neighbor.
“I said, ‘Listen,’ I yell at him. ‘Go in, break it [the door], do something.’”
Cops allegedly claimed only firefighters could force their way in for a rescue — but the FDNY did not arrive until well after 2 a.m., according to Pico, and by that time the family had already drowned.
“I’m very angry at the police because….the fire department doesn’t come, okay, you take action,” the emotional woman said, breaking down as she talked about her neighbors, who immigrated from Nepal and had young Lobsang in the US, she said.
The NYPD and FDNY did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment.
“The rule should be changed. You can’t wait for someone (to come) to save a life,” Pico said.
Nico lit three candles for the victims at the scene of the tragedy Saturday and displayed a sign that read: “Your voice is my voice. No rule should prevail over human life. All government workers must!!! Be prepared to act in the face of eminent danger.”
A relative of the landlord who also lived in a separate basement apartment at the address had tried to help the family Wednesday night, but couldn’t stave off the rising waters, Nico said.
Building inspectors said Thursday the home was “shaking” and “vibrating” due to flood damage, but on Friday inspectors were not able to enter due to an NYPD investigation, records showed.
An online fundraiser had garnered $23,000 in contributions for the family’s funeral expenses in less than 24 hours
“My Aunt, Mingma, was the sole provider for her family in Nepal, which includes her mother and three younger siblings. She has no immediate family in the United States,” the fundraising website read.
“We’re currently working with the Nepali consulate and embassy to bring her mother to the US for the funeral so she can see her daughter and her family one last time.”
Eleven of the 13 people that died from the storm in New York City accidentally drowned in basement apartments, according to the city’s medical examiner. In New Jersey, 27 people were killed by the storm.