Before superstorm Sandy, Olivera Sagarese’s deck and playground used to be behind her house on Lincoln Drive in Mastic Beach. Now they’re blocking the road in front of it.
Sagarese, 37, lives on the street with her husband Michael, a retired New York City police officer, and three of their children -- they have six, with one on the way.
“We got the brunt of it, everything came here,” she said, standing on what remains of the beach grass-filled deck. The home’s rear faces the Forge River. A few blocks to its south is Narrow Bay.
Much of nearby Riviera Drive is flooded with at least a foot of water, and residents say they can smell oil and gas fuel.
“There’s oil everywhere,” said Ted Murdock, who stopped on Forest Road East to turn off propane leaking from a tank. His house, at 77 Riviera Dr., no longer has an east side. It was destroyed by wind and flooding as a result of Sandy.
Elsewhere in Mastic Beach, many roads are blocked by downed trees, and much of the area south of Neighborhood Road is blocked to traffic, though a regular stream of people from around the area were passing nearby in trucks to take a look at the devastation. One man driving a Mini Cooper passed under a semi-downed tree on Woodland Drive, only to turn back after he saw flooding farther down the road.
Sagarese, a nursing student who has been staying at her mother-in-law’s house in Manorville, said her mortgage provider is giving her a three-month reprieve while she looks for another place to live. She’s still waiting for her home insurance provider to call back.
"We’ve got nothing, man,” said Michael Sagarese.