GERRITSEN BEACH, Brooklyn — More than five years after Superstorm Sandy, people in South Brooklyn are still dealing with the damage the storm caused.
They filled a town hall tonight demanding something be done. The meeting was held in the auditorium of P.S. 277 in Gerritsen Beach. Nearly 100 people attended.
Five and half years worth of frustration bubbling over. Much of the anger is directed at the city’s Sandy recovery initiative “Build it Back,” which oversees reconstruction.
“Things don’t work, things are not finished, things are incomplete and they have to come all the time you can’t keep taking days off for them to come,” said homeowner Frank Ferone.
Ferone has spent $60,000 of his own money on repairs. He says part of the problem has been the bureaucracy.
“I started on one program they switched me to another program. I was originally in for reimbursement, I spent a lot of money on my own,” said Ferone. “Then they put me in another program and they destroyed everything I built and they put their own stuff in, cheaper material.”
It was October 29, 2012. Crashing waves, pummeling winds and torrential rain, Sandy ravished the city. Brooklyn communities particularly hard-hit, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach. Thousands of homes were flooded.
“The house basically had two feet of water, the basement was flooded, the foundation crumbling,” said Ferone.
Some decided to rebuild. Others to demolish and start over. Others sold.
To this day, some residents still haven’t been able to move back home. Some are back, but not happy with the work completed. Common complaints, work is slow, or quality of workmanship is poor.
“I think they’re more concerned about getting people in their homes fast, rather than getting the homes done the right way,” said a homeowner who only wanted to be identified by her first name, Tami.
State Senator Marty Golden organized tonight‘s town hall.
“We are addressing these concerns here today, my office will intercede if in fact they’re not done by a certain time, not done correctly,” said Sen. Golden. Golden set that deadline for April 15.