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Markowitz ‘Dumbfounded’ Over Hurricane Aid; S.I. Cars Airing Out Water Damage

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A flooded street on Coney Island. (credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

A flooded street on Coney Island. (credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

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Irene

Updated Sept. 1, 2011 2:08 p.m.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Some elected officials in New York City are adamantly seeking answers and federal aid for their communities following storm-damage from Hurricane Irene.

Borough President Marty Markowitz is not pleased that Brooklyn is not yet on a list of counties getting post-hurricane disaster aid.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has identified 26 counties that saw “devastating effects” from last weekend’s storm.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Reports From Coney Island

Six of those counties haven’t been declared disaster zones by the federal government. That list includes Brooklyn along with Columbia, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan and Washington counties.

However, teams are still out assessing damage and those aforementioned counties could be eligible for relief funds soon. The city’s other four boroughs are already getting aid.

Speaking from Prattsville, N.Y. on Wednesday, Cuomo stressed the impact on upstate communities and urged continued help from Washington.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports: FEMA Says More Counties Will Be Added

“These are not communities of deep pockets and these are communities that will need help — economic help — to restore themselves and we’re looking forward to the partnership with the federal government to help us on this,” Cuomo said.

Markowitz is looking for that same government help and says he’s “dumbfounded” at Brooklyn’s exclusion because many waterfront areas were flooded, including Coney Island and Red Hook.

“We had flooding, we had hundreds of hundreds of trees that we lost. Some of those trees fell on people’s homes or smashed cars. We had infrastructure damage on the Belt Parkway and Brooklyn Queens Expressway,” Markowitz said.

He added that he’s “shocked” and “flabberghasted” that the four other boroughs, which suffered significantly less damage than Brooklyn, qualified for disaster aid.

WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb With Markowitz

Markowitz says he hopes the Federal Emergency Management Agency “immediately reverses this dreadful decision and includes Brooklyn.”

FEMA’s Craig Fugate said they’re continuing to process information and Brooklyn will most likely be counted in.

“If a county was not in the declaration, it does not preclude them, it does not mean that they will not get assistance,” he said. “This was really based on turning on what he had as fast as we could and then adding on as quickly as we get information.”

Fugate stressed that the borough was not purposely excluded.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Reports From Staten Island

Meanwhile, in the Bulls Head section of Staten Island, the streets are littered with flood-damaged possessions and soaked cars being aired out with their hoods, trunks and doors open.

“Oh my God catastrophe, how should I say this? Water just pouring in from nowhere,” Susan Wong described what the storm was like to 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

Staten Island Councilman James Oddo said he wants answers as whether the flooding, caused by the Willowbrook Park Lake could have been prevented.

“We’re here to try to figure out why this happened and what — if anything — we can do to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” Oddo said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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