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Report: Hundreds Of Homes To Be Bulldozed By New York City Due To Sandy Damage

Destroyed Home On Beach 134th Street In The Rockaways (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Destroyed Home On Beach 134th Street In The Rockaways (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As many as 200 homes destroyed in superstorm Sandy will be bulldozed to the ground in the coming days, according to a New York Times report.

The Times said the city has plans to demolish the homes, many of which are one or two-family houses in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

That is in addition to 200 homes which were already burned down, washed away or otherwise destroyed in the storm.

The homes slated to be bulldozed suffered severe structural damage due to flooding and the high winds from Sandy, according to city officials.

In Breezy Point, many homes have been tagged to be torn down.

“There was a lot of love in this little house. I was raised here,” Breezy Point homeowner Madeline DiLorenzo-Coscia told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.

Her home’s foundation is crumbling, causing the home to lean at an angle.

“The word that the Buildings Department used was ‘racked.’ It was racked by all of the other houses,” she told Silverman.

Another resident, Frank, told 1010 WINS the demolitions are inevitable, if sad.

“The older bungalows are the ones that really got hit hard, because they foundations couldn’t withstand the surge, so they’re the ones that… are the most likely to have to be replaced. It’s going to have a different look and feel to the place. So yeah, it is upsetting.”

Some residents in the fire and flood-ravaged community were spared serious damage.

“I cry every day in thankfulness,” homeowner Melissa Resner told Silverman.

Her home does not have a red tag, which marks homes as condemned. But most of the homes in her neighborhood have been marked and will come down.

Resner said she does not know where many of her neighbors have been staying, and in some cases neither does the city.

Buildings officials have been working to reach out the owners of the homes to be razed, LiMandri told the Times. But in some cases where danger is imminent, the city will bulldoze homes before the family is notified, the Times reported.

“It’s terrible, I can’t believe they would do that. Would the city really come in here and knock these homes down without informing the homeowners?” Resner told Silverman.

The Buildings Department has urged residents concerned their homes may be in jeopardy to call 311 or visit one of the city’s recovery centers to get in touch.

According to the Times, New York City’s Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri said the department is still working to inspect nearly 500 more structures damaged in Sandy. Some of those may be razed as well, LiMandri said.

Some concerns have mounted over the likely lack of notification about the demolitions.

“We absolutely support the city getting rid of whatever homes that are not livable and are dangerous. The concern is, will all the owners be notified, since a lot of them are displaced,” said Dolores Orr, chairwoman of Community Board 14 in the Rockaways.

And there has been no decision about whether to rebuild, according to the city.

The rebuilding question is further complicated by some restrictions that have gone into place since many of the condemned homes were built.

Some summer bungalow-style homes that have been expanded and winterized, for example, would not be permitted to be rebuilt under current restrictions.

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