LI group heads to D.C. for Sandy aid vote

A contingent of Long Island residents met with County Executives Edward Mangano and Steve Bellone for a pre-dawn rally in Island Park before heading to Washington for Tuesday's superstorm Sandy relief vote. Videojournalists: Jim Staubitser and Ed Betz (Jan. 15, 2013)

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A contingent of Long Island residents met with County Executives Edward Mangano and Steve Bellone for a pre-dawn rally in Island Park before heading to Washington for Tuesday's superstorm Sandy relief vote.

A bus of about 40 Long Island and Queens residents is traveling to the nation's capital for the vote, which will determine the scope of the proposed $51-billion aid package.

"New York has always been a breadwinner. If Congress is worrying about the fiscal cliff, help us fail here, and we'll get there real quick," said Tommy Asher, of Island Park. "Do the right thing."

Suffolk's Bellone and Nassau's Mangano, who are traveling separately from the residents, will meet with members of Congress to push for full passage, the executives said.

"What we're asking Congress to do today is to be as good as the American people," Bellone said.

Nassau County still has more than 1,000 residents living outside of their homes because of Sandy damage, county officials said. Residential neighborhoods in Island Park, a block away from the train station that served as the rally site, remain cluttered with the ruined belongings of people's homes.

"We're asking, 'What's going on here?' " said Rockaway Park resident Paul Schubert, whose home was flooded and remains damaged. "We're worried."

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