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Nor’easter Wreaks Havoc In Island Park, Already Devastated By Sandy

Island Park Nor'easter

The Nor’easter Wednesday clobbered Island Park, Long Island — a community already devastated by Superstorm Sandy. (Credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

ISLAND PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — On Long Island Wednesday, residents still slammed by Superstorm Sandy were suffering a second round of misery as the Nor’easter clobbered the area with snow.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, it was hard to believe things could get worse in Island Park since Sandy devastated the area. But things were indeed getting worse.

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The stinging rain earlier in the afternoon had turned to sleet and snow by 5 p.m. The channel waters and the Atlantic Ocean directly to the south stirred up relentless gusts.

Meanwhile, Island Park remained completely in the dark. Residents came to the firehouse and gathered around a fire blazing in a garbage drum to stay warm.

“The second storm coming in – it’s horrible,” said Island Park homeowner Dominica Califano. “Everything’s freezing. All our stuff is gone. We have no heat. No electric. It’s a horror. I don’t think anyone expected this to happen here.”

Califano and her partner, Eric Butcher, felt increasingly desperate as the Nor’easter slammed the area. They said the unfair, untimely arrival of the new storm has led them to decide to pack up and take off.

Sandy slammed Island Park with 8 feet of water. Residents were just trying to hold on, but blasting winds in the new storm hitting Reynolds Channel were causing more trouble and anxiety.

“To get powered back up and then lose it all again right away,” Butcher said. “You know, this is everything we have, and we’ve got trucks here taking it all away right in front of you. It’s devastating. It’s one thing after another.”

As the Nor’easter hit the already-crippled Island Park, two other communities – Harbor Isle to the west, and Barnum Island to the east – were ordered evacuated. Businesses and homeowners were trying to remain strong.

“Most of the residents in Island Park lost everything,” said Island Park fire Chief Steve Ruscio.

Ruscio himself was among those who lost everything. The Ruscio family home was left unlivable.

“Six foot of water in the basement — still pumping out — and now we have this storm coming in now,” he said.

Due to the storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency closed shop. Next to the shuttered village hall, other agencies set up tents and trailers, where Chief Ruscio comforted his emotional wife.

“I think the people in this community just need support, and they need immediate assistance to help with housing and financing so that we can be safe with our families,” said Denise Ruscio.

Volunteers were out in force, and the National Guard was even stopping by Wednesday night. But the wind was picking up, and a long night was in order.

Has the Nor’easter caused any new problems for you? Leave your comments below…