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Christmas Takes On New Meaning For Residents In Storm-Ravaged Communities

Belle Harbor Resident: 'We Appreciate The Little Things More'
Christmas In New Dorp Beach (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Christmas In New Dorp Beach (credit: Monica Miller/WCBS 880)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Christmas has taken on new meaning for residents still affected by superstorm Sandy.

For some, all they want from Santa this year is a check from FEMA and their insurance company to help cover the damage sustained to their homes.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

New Dorp Beach resident Donna said her home is still without power more than two months after Sandy hit.

And she said while she is grateful to all the volunteers who have lent a hand, she said it’s time for Uncle Sam to step up.

“I’m just afraid the government is forgetting,” she told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Donna and her dog have been splitting their days living in the car and with a friend. She said she has no idea when she’ll be able to return home.

“Without the FEMA money, no. And we keep asking them or insurance money, the insurance hasn’t even gotten back to us,” said the woman.

She said she appreciates all the charity. But without a computer, she doesn’t know how to apply for it.

“I’d like to ask Bruce Springsteen, actually. I’d like to ask him where the funds are for us. Not just for my neighborhood but for any neighborhood that was affected,” Donna said. “Where are the funds from the concert – from the 12-12-12 concert?”

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports

Christmas in Belle Harbor, Queens is also a bit different this year for residents who lost possessions and suffered damage in the storm.

“People think, ‘oh yeah, the hurricane and the storm was a month or two ago and everything’s almost back to normal.’ But it’s really not,” Steven from Belle Harbor told 1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels.

Steven said the first floor of his home was completely destroyed in the flooding from Sandy.

“Every day, you see people dragging their personal belongings out into the street. It’s been tough, I’m pretty much exhausted from working every day trying to get the place together and going about my regular job also,” he said.

But residents said the losses suffered in Sandy gave them a fresh perspective on the true meaning of Christmas.

“A lot of people have it a lot worse than we do,” Steven told Michaels.

Belle Harbor resident Richard said this is the best Christmas yet.

“It’s better. We appreciate the little things more,” he told Michaels. “All the things that people did that were great acts of Christian kindness, whether they were Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh – there were people from everywhere who came down here to help us.”

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