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100 turn out for post-Sandy recovery meeting in Mastic Beach

Flooding from the Forge River as a result

Flooding from the Forge River as a result of superstorm Sandy destroyed much of Olivera Sagarese's home on Lincoln Drive in Mastic Beach. (Oct. 31, 2012) Credit: Carl Corry

More than 100 people turned out Wednesday evening for an open house in Mastic Beach to learn about preliminary plans to rebuild Mastic Beach Village and south Shirley after superstorm Sandy.

“We’re going to building bigger, better and stronger for the future, so hopefully, if we have an event like [Sandy], we won’t have the problems we are having how,” said Mastic Beach Mayor Bill Biondi.

Mastic Beach was among the areas severely hit by Sandy. Many homes near the water were flooded or destroyed, and many are still under construction, abandoned or up for sale.

Wednesday’s event, held at William Floyd High School, was part of the statewide New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program, a post-Sandy recovery project established by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Mastic Beach is eligible for up to $3 million in reconstruction funds as part of the program, according to a breakdown by the state.

At this point, officials are taking input from residents affected by the storm to address improvements to roadways, infrastructure and other initiatives that will lead to stronger local economies.

Some attendees, like Keith Forstell, 64, of Mastic Beach, were skeptical, but encouraged that something concrete will come out of the process.

"There's a lot of thought going into it, which is impressive,” he said. “What remains to be seen is, will anything come out if this, or will it fade away like things have in the past?"

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