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Emotions Run High In Lindenhurst Amid Devastation, Loss In Oceanfront Town

Flooding on Riverside Avenue in Lindenhurst, Long Island. (Credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Flooding on Riverside Avenue in Lindenhurst, Long Island. (Credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – It looks like a movie set.

That’s how CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan described the scene in Lindenhurst Thursday morning, where debris not only lines the post-Sandy streets, but periodically flies through the air as cleanup crews are being brought in to recover and rebuild after the storm.

The oceanfront community  took a hard hit, when Hurricane Sandy blew through, flooding some houses — and destroying others.

The neighboring town of Babylon sent in front loaders to dig through the rubble.

Lindenhurst resident Ray Felton held back tears as he told McLogan his story of loss and devastation on Venetian Blvd.

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“I come in and all of the sudden I see water coming up from the floor, and within an hour, I had two feet of water in my house,” he said. “I have no lights, I’m wet, everything’s soaked, I’m trying to get up into the attic. I got cats in the garage, I got a cat in my house.”

The houses on the waterfront of the street had little hope of surviving.

“A lot of these houses…the backs are blown of the houses from the waves hitting. The waves were coming in at least 3 or 4 feet,” he said. “I just…you know, what can you do? I’m not gonna leave my house. Everybody else left, except the couple next door. You have to stay.”

Felton also mentioned his  neighbor, who lost his wife to cancer in recent weeks, and is now facing the destruction.

A worker from the town of Lindenhurst told McLogan he’s never seen anything like this before.

“It’s phenomenal, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “Everything is destroyed. It’s unbelievable. There’s no other way to describe it.”

He said the goal for now is try to make the roads passable.

Meanwhile, for those that still have their homes, living is still uncomfortable. Thousands of customers remain without power on Long Island.

The Long Island Power Authority was reporting about 743,000 outages Thursday morning. At one point, more than 930,000 customers were in the dark — which amounts to 90 percent of the utility’s customers.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS Mona Rivera Reports From Long Island

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us,” LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey said. “We’ve got all of the hospitals on except two in the heavily flooded areas in the Rockaways and Long Beach. Hospitals are up and running, we’re making pretty good progress in getting the lines cleared and the power back on for the railroad.”