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Long IslandCrime

Community service becomes Sandy cleanup

A beachfront house is damaged in the aftermath

A beachfront house is damaged in the aftermath of yesterday's surge from superstorm Sandy in Coney Island's Sea Gate community. (Oct. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

New Yorkers who got into minor trouble in Manhattan have been sentenced to Sandy.

Last week, 70 people who were given community service after pleading guilty to infractions like public drunkenness, open container violations or speeding were shuttled to Coney Island in Brooklyn to help with cleanup efforts after the devastating storm.

They raked leaves, shoveled mud and picked up garbage and debris. More than 1,000 bags of trash were collected in 732 hours of work. Swaths of Sandy-wrecked filthy streets and sidewalks were cleaned.

"In speaking with community members, we witnessed sadness in some of their faces, but also a determination. Local business owners described the struggle they faced in recovering their businesses," said Moises Reyes, one of the supervisors in the weeklong cleanup effort created by the Manhattan district attorney's office.

Reyes said participants worked really hard. "I believe they saw the need in the community and didn't hesitate or hold back in participating with this special cleanup," he said.

Cleanup and recovery efforts will take months, and there are thousands of displaced in the city. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asked the federal government for more than $32 billion to cover the immediate costs triggered by Sandy, plus $9 billion for preventive measures to better protect the area for the next big storm.

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