More than $285 million in cash assistance has been approved for residents in Nassau and Suffolk counties a month after superstorm Sandy hit, federal officials said Thursday.
Assistance awarded to Nassau and Suffolk residents is part of $703 million paid to 13 New York State counties, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The agency has approved $234.8 million for Nassau County residents and $51.1 million for Suffolk County families, FEMA officials said.
Finding “available housing” for victims whose homes were damaged by Sandy, which hit Long Island on Oct. 29, is the agency’s top priority, said Terry Winters, FEMA’s disaster response coordinator for Nassau and Suffolk counties.
“We just don’t have the rental resources or available space to build a temporary community,” Winters said. “Finding a solution to temporary housing has been a bit of a challenge.”
Winters said Thursday he couldn’t provide an estimate of how many homes on Long Island had been destroyed by Sandy.
So far, more than 236,000 New Yorkers have contacted FEMA or registered for assistance.
Individuals can register online for FEMA assistance at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362. Multilingual telephone operators are available and those with a speech disability or hearing loss can use a TTY by calling 800-462-7585.
Toll-free telephone numbers operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.