The Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield, Staten Island, is fully occupied with evacuees from Hurricane Sandy, and hotel owner Richard Nicotra says they can stay as long as they’d like–even though some New York Marathon runners who have reservations for the weekend are upset they won’t be able to stay. “How do I tell people that have no place to go, that have no home, that have no heat, that you have to leave because I need to make room for somebody that wants to run the marathon?” he said. “I can’t do that.”

For her part, the president of the New York Road Runners, the organization that sponsors the suddenly controversial marathon, said she agrees that New Yorkers should come first. “Marathoners will find a way,” she said. “Marathoners are coming here now in support. They’re deciding they want to be here, to be part of helping this city move on.”

Watch NY1’s report on the Staten Island hotel here.

(Photo: Hilton Hotels & Resorts)