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Staten Island Sandy Tent City Ordered Out Before Beach Season

Tent city in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island - April 23, 2013 (credit: Jim Smith / WCBS 880)

Tent city in New Dorp Beach, Staten Island – April 23, 2013 (credit: Jim Smith / WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - In the New Dorp Beach section of Staten Island, a relief center constructed in the wake of superstorm Sandy is being told to make way for the upcoming summer.

Donna Graziano’s tent city is covered with tarps and strapped together with plywood and boards, but she said it’s was a lifeline for hard-hit residents.

“I supply them with food, cleaning supplies, baby supplies,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Jim Smith.

She said the city now wants her to clear out the ad-hoc base camp before the beach season.

“This is like the best location. I’m trying to work with them and find a new location,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen in three weeks.”

The city parks department said the beaches are under construction, both for the summer season and for emergency protection measures.

They’re suggesting Graziano partner with a local not-for-profit, an effort she says has been difficult.

“What happens if I can’t find something?” she worries.

This all comes as residents say they still use these services and don’t want the tents torn down.

“I think it’s terrible, we need them here,” said one.