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6 Months After Superstorm Sandy, Signs Of Progress But More To Be Done (page 5)

Thousands Of Residents Remain Displaced As FEMA Money Slowly Trickles In
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Superstorm Sandy

A SLOW COMEBACK ON THE LONG ISLAND SHORES

On Long Island, progress in some communities can be measured house-by-house and street-by-street.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Sean Hogan of Lindenhurst was getting his roof back up, and his wife has had a baby since the storm. But he has had no money from the insurance.

“I’m doing it all on my own time, and thank God I have some friends that came and helped me, and basically just worked for free,” he said.

Their street was decimated. A neighbor, Ray Velton, took home video of water that he estimated to be above his head.

Meanwhile, the South Shore of Nassau County was soaked with sewage and sea water. Prized possessions from thousands of homes were carted to Nickerson Beach, brewing a potential health calamity.

The dump is gone now, but things are far from back to normal. Neighbors said tourists will be bowled over – and not in a good way – on Long Beach.

The boardwalk in Long Beach is not rebuilt; a dedication ceremony for a new boardwalk was held just this past weekend. And around the town, many businesses remained shuttered.

“We know that six months is way too long to wait, whether it be for our residents or our businesses,” said Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman. “But we are so happy.”

The happiness and relief comes from the fact that Sandy relief funding is due this week, he said.

And some businesses on Long Beach are back up and running, including Bruce Bond’s pizzeria.

“I was closed for six-and-a-half weeks, comeback is slow. There’s about 700 empty homes that are still on the west end of Long Beach, the area where my business is. We survived,” Bond told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “We survived like Long Beach people do. And we’ll keep surviving, we’ll keep going on one day at a time.”

Bond added that his business will be back and stronger than ever as the recovery process continues. But some storm-weary residents like Janice said full recovery is still a long way off.

“You almost can’t believe it happened. I can’t believe it’s six months,” a Long Beach resident added.

There are still hundreds of single-family homes and many businesses too damaged to occupy or open, Xirinachs reported.

Congress approved more than $60 billion in Sandy relief funds, most of it for New Jersey and New York, despite opposition from many Congressional Republicans who wanted to spend less.

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