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Residents Of The Rockaways Continue Struggle For Normalcy

Cleanup workers in Far Rockaway, Queens - Dec. 18, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

Cleanup workers in Far Rockaway, Queens – Dec. 18, 2012 (credit: Monica Miller / WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Getting life back to normal in the Rockaways after superstorm Sandy is a slow process.

WCBS 880′s Monica Miller On The Story

When you asks some residents what they need the most, they say employment is the most important thing.

“They need to put more people… on the work job,” a construction worker named “Civilized” told WCBS 880 reporter Monica Miller in Far Rockaway on Tuesday.

He said he’s been told they got volunteers willing to do cleanup work, a finding a job that pays is rare.

“People can’t work for free forever. They got to feed their family. They got rent to pay,” he said.

Mario Palmer said he was ready for his 9:30 a.m. interview at a Labor Department job fair, but there was a hitch.

“The first people that were on the line were here since 3 o’clock this morning in the cold,” he said.

He was supposed to start a new job the week Sandy hit. Now his future is uncertain.

“We were told that we were on the waiting list, the majority of us. So we really don’t know what’s happening,” he said.

For those who are getting a paycheck, the dwindling number of paying customers makes it hard to stay in business (or get back in business).