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Storm Battered L.I. Family Spends Third Thanksgiving Away From Home

They Rebuilt After Irene But Still Haven't Recovered From Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many victims of Superstorm Sandy who are still struggling to rebuild will spend a second Thanksgiving away from home.

For one Long Island family this year marked the third time that they were homeless for Thanksgiving, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

“It’s a sad day when it shouldn’t be really. But, it’s a little bit sad that we are still not home. We’re still fighting,” Katie Fazekas said.

The Fazekas spent the holiday packed into their parents’ home with two small children while their Freeport home remained a gutted shell.

“It’s tough to get our family going when a storm steps in and says we’re putting your life on hold,” Liam Fazekas said.

Their home was gutted by Irene and rebuilt but Sandy filled it with 6 ft. of flood water. Now, Katie and Liam are struggling to rebuild.

“We are out of the house still because of the government. We are being failed,” Fazekas said.

The family navigated a flood of insurance paperwork but only received a third of the $200,000 that they need to rebuild to the new FEMA regulations.

“It’s red tape and it’s road block after road block. It’s almost like they want us to give up,” Liam said.

The family was hopeful when NY Rising awards were announced in September, but two inspections and a series of clerical errors and delays have left the family waiting for a check that is supposedly in the mail.

The Fazekas are not the only ones waiting on NY Rising. A spokesman for the program said that there are hundreds of inspectors on Long Island and that each case is unique.

“Every step of the way there has been a mistake with NY Rising We though we were the unlucky ones but I’ve met a lot of people through this process and we all have the same story,” Liam explained.

The New York Rising website claims that more than 4,000 award letters have gone out. The Fazekas have yet to receive theirs.

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