Sandy-hit LI residents slam congressional logjam

Terri Quinn, a homeowner and member of the Terri Quinn, a homeowner and member of the Grandview Beach Association, talks about the damaged town-owned bulkhead at the end of Bergen Avenue in Blue Point. (Dec.10, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

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The logjam over approving billions of federal dollars for supplemental Sandy aid has infuriated hard-hit local homeowners who said they need help now.

Terri Quinn, who has been unable to return to her Blue Point home since the October storm inundated her first floor with floodwater, decried the Republican Party's decision to delay voting on most of the $60 billion aid package.

Quinn received about $57,000 from FEMA and her private insurer this week, but she's waiting on another $80,000 worth of claims. "It just doesn't make sense at all why they can't do this."

John Farina's Lindenhurst home took in nearly 3 feet of water from Sandy, and he said he's yet to see any money from his insurance company. "I think it's ridiculous that they could do this to us," he said of the governmental delay.

Edward Reicherter of East Rockaway said 4 feet of water destroyed his first floor. "They aren't caring for the people out there who still don't have heat, who still don't have water and electricity," he said of the delay. He estimated it would cost about $130,000 to fix his home -- so far FEMA has provided $3,100 in rental assistance.

Freeport native Thomas Mason said it is "very unfair" that Congress has made Sandy victims wait so long for aid, and the latest delay does not instill confidence. His first floor was destroyed by Sandy, and he has been living with family in Jamaica, Queens while awaiting money and planning his rebuild. "We put them there," Mason said. "They should be representing us. They're making us all wait while we're suffering." At a news conference held by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in Long Beach Wednesday, Betty Beller said her Arizona Avenue home took in 8 feet of water and her basement and electrical system need significant repair. But she can't proceed without knowing how much the federal government will cover. "My whole life savings is in the house," Beller said.

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Stacy Adler learned last week that her home on Forester Street, which she purchased two years ago, would need to be demolished. She said flood insurance has offered her less than $50,000, but that she would need at least $300,000 to raze and rebuild. "I don't have this money in my back pocket." Adler said. "So, it's a waiting game at this point."

With Denise M. Bonilla, Nicholas Spangler, Mackenzie Issler,

Robert Brodsky, Patrick Whittle

@Newsday

and Emily Ngo

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