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Residents In Hard-Hit Areas Helped By NYC Rapid Repairs Program

Crews tackle piles of debris as clean-up continues where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away on November 10, 2012 in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood of Queens. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Crews tackle piles of debris as clean-up continues where a large section of the iconic boardwalk was washed away on November 10, 2012 in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood of Queens. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYC Rapid Repairs program, under way for about a week, has already been helpful to some storm-affected residents.

On Wednesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited one family in the Rockaways.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Mary Butler’s home in Arverne was without heat and electricity since the storm hit. She signed up for the city’s rapid repairs program on Monday and now has her power restored.

“It only took like 24 hours,” Butler told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell.

WEB EXTRA: Read More About NYC Rapid Repairs

The goal of NYC Rapid Repairs program is to expedite the process, Bloomberg said.

“If you waited in line for everybody that needed a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, it’s going to be an awful long time,” Bloomberg told Haskell.

The program officially began last Tuesday, Nov. 13. Bloomberg said New Yorkers whose homes were damaged in the storm can go to a city restoration center, get a Federal Emergency Management Agency number and sign up.

So far, about 6,500 residents have signed up for the program.

Mayor Bloomberg said he hopes to have hundreds of teams in the field by next week to help get people back on their feet.

To Contact FEMA, call 1 (800) 621-FEMA (3362)

Once a homeowner signs up, a contractor will come and assess the damage quickly and then make the necessary repairs, said the mayor.

Bloomberg said he expects FEMA to pay for most of the repairs.

He said the program will be efficient and save the city, state and federal government money because contractors can work on multiple buildings in one area.

Have you signed up for the NYC Rapid Repairs program? What has your experience been? Share your story in the comments section below…