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Giuliani: FEMA Has Dropped The Ball On Sandy Relief

Former Mayor Giuliani

Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was complaining Tuesday that the federal government was not doing enough to help New Yorkers in need.

But some people who spoke to CBS 2’s John Slattery may not agree.

The residents of Midand Beach in Staten Island continued Tuesday to throw out and pump out, accepting help such as free clothing.

Intermediate School 3 was one many drop-off points, and the losses in the area were costly.

“The boilers are gone. The hot water heaters are gone. The carpeting is gone. The kitchen cabinets are gone, the refrigerator, stove, everything,” said Bob Satten of Midland Beach.

The Federal Emergency management Agency was set up at nearby Miller Field, offering food, necessities, and temporary housing.

Rosalina Palermo said she thought the response should have come sooner.

“I think it could have been a little bit quicker. I registered last Wednesday,” and FEMA did not come until Monday, she said.

Another resident spraypainted his dissatisfaction with FEMA on the side of his home. “FEMA, fix my home,” was the message.

And former Mayor Giuliani said residents should be fed up.

“You can’t tolerate this. This is unacceptable,” he said.

Giuliani said eight days into it, the response has been very bad.

“FEMA’s got to own up to that and say, ‘Hey, we really blew it. We should have pre-positioned the water. We should have anticipated need for generators.’”

A FEMA spokesman defended the agency’s performance.

“You know, something of this magnitude is a challenge, but we’re up to the challenge,” said spokesman Ken Higginbotham. “This is what we do.”

And not everyone was slamming the agency. Charles Stuyvesant, who has lived in a small house near the water for 25 years, applauded FEMA.

“Right on the ball. Unbelievably great, these people,” he said.

Stuyvesant said FEMA was not slow in responding. In fact, he said, “they were great.”

A FEMA spoksman said the agency will be in Staten Island as long as necessary, and that could be months.

So far, FEMA has spent $200 million housing 34,000 people in hotels and motels. The agency is considering the use of trailers and pre-fab housing.

What do you think about FEMA’s performance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy? Tell us below…