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South Shore Long Island Community Still In Tatters, 6 Weeks After Sandy

Residents In One Part Of Lindenhurst Seeing Progress, But At A Snail's Pace
Residents in one hard-hit section of Lindenhurst say Sandy was the worst thing they've ever experienced. (Photo: CBS 2)

Residents in one hard-hit section of Lindenhurst say Sandy was the worst thing they’ve ever experienced. (Photo: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

LINDENHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — In one South Shore community on Long Island, only eight homes in a two-block radius will have lights and heat.

CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan was there during Superstorm Sandy and returned Friday to find families filled with strength and sorrow.

The images at Venetian Shores in Lindenhurst are stunning. Brand new home video just discovered shows horrified homeowners riding out Sandy’s wrath – eight-foot high walls of surging saltwater.

“Just total devastation down here. I’ve never seen it like this, been down here 40 years,” one resident said.

“I’ve lost everything. I don’t have anything anymore,” a tearful resident added.

Now nearly six weeks later, there have been overwhelming changes in lives and the landscape that remains on the Great South Bay.

“Out of 50 houses, two blocks up and down, there are half a dozen tops, maybe eight families living here right now,” homeowner Ray Velton said. “No gas, no heat, no hot water … I get in the tub, water’s 50 like degrees. It’s cold, but at least it is something.”

Velton, a retired mechanic, lives alone with his cat “Bubs.” He was hanging hand-washed clothes on the line Friday and wasn’t complaining. At least, he said, he has a roof over his head.

“Basically make sure doors are locked. There is no curfew anymore. And the police are around. Every week another house comes up and the lights come on and you see the neighbor,” Velton said.

The Hogan family is back. Maria is due to give birth in two days. The family is repairing the home, counting on reimbursement from their insurance company.

When asked how much money he has spent so far, Sean Hogan said, “Thousands, probably 20 grand already.”

Velton said he doesn’t have up-front cash to buy a new boiler or a new truck. He’s waiting for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and documenting Sandy’s wrath, which includes water lines everywhere inside the home and garage.

“Between 6 and 11 o’clock at night the whole world changed,” Velton said.

The alarming video shows Velton’s world as he stood at his window that scary night — Sandy surging eight feet strong, destroying homes and possessions.

“I saw a priest come down a few days after you, and I just touched his cross, and he asked me how I was doing. I said I’m a little more thankful to God,” Velton said.

Velton said he has been assured heat, gas and power are on their way. He said he manages at night without heat because since Sandy only a few nights have dropped below freezing.

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