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Some L.I. Families Decide To Ride Out Post-Sandy Recovery In Cramped Campers

People Say They're Trying To Be Patient, But Situation Is Getting More Difficult
Some families have decided to ride out the post Sandy rebuilding and recovery in campers located in their own front yard. (credit: CBS 2)

Some families have decided to ride out the post Sandy rebuilding and recovery in campers located in their own front yard. (credit: CBS 2)

Superstorm Sandy

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — More than five weeks after Superstorm Sandy, there are people in the Tri-State Area still suffering beyond belief.

Many have their own stories of desperation and survival.

It’s not quite home, but the Berrin family of six is making do with microwaved meals and cramped quarters inside a borrowed camper on their front lawn.

“To feed six of us, the oven’s a little small,” a family member told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.

Homework has also proved to be a challenge with the children having to go to the library or use a small cooler as a table.

Next door to them, a family of five, including three generations and two dogs, are riding out the recovery in a 28-foot camper.

“Everybody is just ready to go crazy because it’s five people,” Irene Cipolla said.

“I basically have to sleep in one position all night or else I’ll fall off the bed,” Victoria Spanato added.

Both families had their homes flooded. They said they are lucky to have found a way to stay put while almost everyone else in their Babylon neighborhood has had to find shelter elsewhere while homes are rebuilt.

Others are staying put because they have no place else to go.

Anne Sleapv said she is trying to ride things out.

“I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know anymore what to do,” Sleap said.

She has power on in only one room and is running extension chords to two donated space heaters, while boiling water to wash and wearing layers.

“When you get up to go the bathroom, you have to wash your hands in ice cold water,” Sleap said.

Neighborhood volunteers said there are many others like her because help can’t come soon enough.

“It takes a while — there’s only so many electricians, so many plumbers, so many boilers around. So yeah, a lot of people are back up and running, but there are quite a few who aren’t,” said Paul Westphal, of the Kiwanis Club.

No matter who you talk to, people whose homes were destroyed and lives were disrupted said they are being as patient as possible through repairs, but it’s getting colder and more difficult.

In addition to lives being disrupted, residents on Suffolk County’s South Shore told CBS 2 looting has also been a problem.

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