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More Than 8 Weeks After Sandy, Rockaway Residents Still Face Major Mold Problems

Advocacy Organization Says 'Thousands' Affected, Calls Numbers 'Appalling'
Derek Casey is among those facing a mold problem in his home. (credit: CBS 2)

Derek Casey is among those facing a mold problem in his home. (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Life after Superstorm Sandy includes a health hazard that is sometimes pesky, sometimes serious and continues to keep many out of their homes.

Now some are saying the city should be doing more to help get rid of it.

It’s the fungus you don’t want to find at home, yet Derek Casey is one of the many stuck with mold after Sandy’s waters flooded his Rockaway condominium, leaving him wondering if the government will ever come and help remove it.

“The mold is here and we’re what eight weeks later and it’s still growing. We should have had it removed by now,” Casey told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

Casey’s uncertainty is spreading along with the mold.

“I’m very concerned about what we cannot see more so than what we can see,” he said.

City Hall is being accused of not doing enough.

A new survey by the New York Communities for Change said 65 percent of Rockaway residents still have mold or paid for its removal and that “..mold has been growing in thousands of households.”

The problem is so prevalent the survey said more than a third of the homes in the Rockaways have mold.

“The data is appalling,” said Amelia Adams, of Communities for Change.

On Wednesday, that organization and the city’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, criticized what they called the administration’s inaction.

“This has to be addressed aggressively. If you don’t address it aggressively, more and more people get sick. More and more homes and apartments can’t be lived in,” de Blasio said.

But the city said “While mold in homes can exacerbate asthma, it can be successfully managed by homeowners and contractors.”

But don’t tell that to Javier Torres and Lesly Escobar. They said it would cost about $10,000 to take care of their exterior walls that are covered in mold.

“We don’t have anyone to remove it. We don’t have the finances to be able to,” Escobar said.

The survey also found that many who did pay to have mold removed now cannot afford to begin rebuilding their homes.

Are you still dealing with mold problems following Superstorm Sandy?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…