Sewer service restored in Long Beach

Large portions of the protective dune between homes

Large portions of the protective dune between homes in Long Beach and the ocean were washed away by superstorm Sandy. This Nov. 4, 2012, photo shows the dune degradation. (Credit: Jeremy Bales)

Sewer service was restored Monday morning in the City of Long Beach, and officials said they were working hard to get drinkable water flowing.

Still, even as the officials announced the progress, Long Beach residents shivered in the cold as they lined up to get assistance from FEMA or to pick up food and clothing at the city's ice arena, which had been converted to an assistance center.

Viktoriya Rusiya, 65, standing in line for assistance, said her ground-floor studio apartment was flooded. She cleans houses for a living and the people she works for have left the city.

"I'm hoping they can help me. I just found out I lost my job." she said as she shivered and cried outside the ice area. "I really don't know what to do, but I thought I should come here and register and FEMA would tell me what to do."

Inside the ice arena, on Reynolds Channel and just a few blocks north of City Hall, FEMA workers were helping residents register with the agency, the first step toward getting a grant of up to $30,200. Applicants could also file for low-interest loans to cover housing repairs or other storm-related expenses not covered by the grant.

In a news release, the city said "recovery is in full swing -- FEMA is here, sanitation pickup is going around the clock, & help has arrived in force."

It said two locations would be open for voting Tuesday: the East School and the Lindell School, and that city buses would be available to take voters to the polls. The 6 p.m. evening curfew will be temporarily lifted for people voting late in the day.

The City Council meeting scheduled for Wednesday has been canceled and the city remains in a state of emergency, the news release said.

With William Murphy

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