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Superstorm Sandy-damaged home collapses, officials say

A waterfront house in Babylon hangs precariously Wednesday,

A waterfront house in Babylon hangs precariously Wednesday, May 18, 2016, after falling the evening before from footings put in place to raise it above the flood line and prevent damage during heavy storms. Credit: James Carbone

A waterfront home in Babylon collapsed Tuesday night, falling off footings put in place to prevent it from flooding after being damaged in 2012 by superstorm Sandy.

Homeowner Randy Stewart said the house was slated to be raised permanently, in order to avoid water damage in case of future storms. But the work was delayed while Stewart waited on government grants, including thousands of dollars from New York Rising, a state agency that distributes Sandy rebuilding dollars.

“The house was lifted six weeks ago,” said the 49-year-old, who lived in the house for 19 years. “It was due to have the next phase of construction start [Thursday]. Unfortunately, it collapsed.”

“It was scary,” added Stewart, who believes the support beams weren’t big enough to support the weight of the house for six weeks.

No one was injured in the home on Yacht Club Road, which was unoccupied at the time of the collapse.

Firefighters from the Babylon Fire Department helped shore up the structure, fire officials said.

Officials are investigating an official cause for the collapse.

Stewart said he places blame for the incident with New York State government in general, and New York Rising in particular.

“This is New York Rising’s fault,” he said. “If they’d provided the money they promised, this would never have happened.”

Barbara Brancaccio, a spokeswoman for New York Rising, said Stewart has already received more than $163,000 for the repair and recovery of his home, $113,000 of which was specifically for elevation.

“He has received 6 payments over the past year and a half, with the last payment of $40,000 received and deposited at the end of March,” Brancaccio said in an emailed statement. “In total, they are expected to receive more than $316,000 from NY Rising.”

Stewart, who has been living with his family at a rental property in the area, said he plans to rebuild.

“I have a pretty good perspective on things,” he said. “Everything can be replaced.”

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