In the damaged New Dorp Beach neighborhood on Staten Island, people who haven’t had heat since the late October storm have been taking refuge in tents set up by aid workers.
Propane heaters barely kept up with the cold and workers provided sleeping bags and blankets and for warmth.
“That space heater is only going to warm up a little area,” said Anthony Gambino, whose power has been out for three months. “What am I supposed to do? Grin and bear it like everyone else.”
Eddie Saman’s small home flooded with more than eight feet of water during the storm. A gaping hole in the roof of his home has rendered it uninhabitable and unheatable.
“I go to a tent to sleep,” he told 1010 WINS’ John Montone. “I have a cot and blankets.”
For Anthony Cavallo, the cold was just another in a litany of aggravations that began when Sandy swept through his Union Beach, N.J., neighborhood and flooded his one-story house with more than four feet of water.
Still waiting for the go-ahead to rebuild, Cavallo and his family have been living in a trailer they bought once it became clear they couldn’t afford to rent.
Wednesday’s frigid weather froze the pipes, something Cavallo’s 14-year-old daughter discovered when she tried to take a shower at 4:30 a.m. Cavallo spent the morning thawing out the pipes and stuffing hay under the trailer to help insulate them.
“Every day it’s something, whether it’s frozen pipes or getting jerked around for two months by insurance companies,” the 48-year-old security system installer said. “I just kind of want to wake up one day and have no surprises.”
On Long Island, 80 homes in the waterfront community of Island Park lost heat in the cold snap after moisture from Superstorm Sandy’s floods froze, preventing natural gas from flowing.
“From Sandy there was a water intrusion and we pumped out that water out of the gas main,” the National Grid’s Wendy Ladd said. “There is always trace amounts of water vapor that is still in the main.”
Residents are trying to cope however they can.
“We have electric heaters and that has helped significantly,” resident Patricia Monteverde said.
For the most part, the National Weather Service says temperatures have been around 10 to 15 degrees below normal, with windy conditions making it feel colder.
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