Breezy Point residents share their stories of escaping Sandy and their struggle to rebuild

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BREEZY POINT, Queens (PIX11) – As the sun rose over Breezy Point, Queens Tuesday it was bright, cool and calm.

It was a much different scene than one year ago. Superstorm Sandy was heading towards New York and New Jersey.

And when it did slam into the region, it would bring massive destruction.

Six feet of water swept homes off their foundations and caused widespread damage in Breezy Point. A total of 355 homes were destroyed from either water or fire.

breezy point

Only one home of the dozens burned to the ground in Breezy Point has been rebuilt.

“The home was basically knocked off its foundation by the ocean,” Ed Levins of Breezy Point said.  He still hasn’t been able to rebuild. Levins is waiting for government funding.

And then there are those affected by the fire.

Seawater sparked an electrical fire that soon spread from home to home. According to the Breezy Point Cooperative, 135 homes burned down. A year later, there is some rebuilding but many plots are just foundations.

Denise Neibel is the assistant general manager of the Breezy Point Cooperative. She’s helped residents cope and try and rebuild after Sandy.

“We have had a lot of challenges, attempting to get building department permits, insurance settlement with folks, money mostly, from federal government and local governments,” Neibel said.

In the fire zone, only one home is totally rebuilt. According to Neibel, dozens of homes are in the process of rebuilding throughout Breezy Point and roughly 100 more Sandy victims have paperwork submitted to rebuild.

That rebuilding has been slow because homeowners are still waiting for government assistance. State Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder represents Breezy Point and has tried to help his constituents. But he acknowledges it’s taking too long.

“I hope our elected officials in Albany and Washington will get moving and get us the money we need. We’re suffering,” Goldfeder said.

While there was dramatic property loss in Breezy Point, there was one bright spot: no one lost their lives.

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