NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Residents of storm-ravaged Sea Gate, Brooklyn on Saturday morning had just begun to sift through what was left of their homes.

As CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported, agents from the Department of Environmental Protection were checking the neighborhood for fuel leaks and checking the oil tanks in the basements of many people’s homes Saturday morning, while the Department of Sanitation cleaned up piles of rubble scattered throughout the neighborhood.

The piles were filled with remnants of the way life once was for people in the neighborhood, from backyard children’s playground equipment to baby mattresses. Young families who were just starting out their lives lost their entire homes and had to rebuild everything.

In one home, exposed dead wires hung frayed from the ceiling, and the waterfront could be seen right through two gaping holes in the front of the house.

Meanwhile, the neighborhood remained without power, and problems with looting were reported.

Michael Paladino remained in the community throughout the storm, and afterward.

“I wanted to be secure. I didn’t want to deal with another issue. We went down before the storm and we grabbed our valuables what we thought we could save, brought it up to the first floor,” Paladino said, “and if we did all that, to leave now, you know, it’s just a matter of being a little bit cold. And you get in bed at night, you get warmer.”

Paladino was out with his camera taking pictures Saturday morning. He said many homes had been destroyed.

“The waterfront property is really a mess,” he said.

Paladino, a 22-year resident of Sea Gate, said he was not sure whether the community would make it.

“It’s sad, because I really don’t know – it’s really a nice community. It’s a lot of fun during the summer. People enjoy it,” he said, “and I don’t know if it’s going to come back the way it was. Without a government seawall here, I don’t know if we’re going to be able to survive if these weather changes continue.”

Paladino, 58, said he has been painting since he was 18. His oil paintings survived, but all his watercolors, pastels and sketches were lost, and “those things, they can’t be replaced.”

But neighbors said they would tough it out and bring the community back to the way it was.

Do you think some communities might not make it over the long haul? Share your comments below…

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