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Victims Hit Hard By Sandy March To Show Congress They Need Aid

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Residents across the region where Hurricane Sandy struck marched to show Washington why they need relief aid and why they need it now. NY1's Ruschell Boone has the story.

From emotional pleas to the federal government for help, to cries of outrage, hundreds of Rockaway residents took to the streets to call on Congress to pass the second Sandy Aid Relief Bill Saturday.

The aid package, which is expected to be worth about $51 billion, is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, but many here say it should have taken place much sooner given the magnitude of the disaster.

"Louisiana 10 days, New York City -- 77? Really? Nobody has a map of Louisiana in their back pocket. Everybody has a map of New York," one marcher said.

Hoping to convince lawmakers that the hardest hit areas are in desperate need of federal help, several marches were held around the city and down the Long Island and New Jersey coast to highlight the devastated areas.

"We need help and there is no way the world and the country and the people in Congress are not going to hear about it," a co-organizer of the event said.

In Rockaway, residents marched from Beach 112th Street to Beach 130th Street and just about every person in the crowd had a story to tell.

Aiden Clifford, 10, and his family are still homeless.

"Everyone needs the money and the support to build back their houses and get their lives back together," Clifford said.

Congress has already allocated nearly $10 billion for flood insurance, but many here are concerned that some of the money slated for future projects may not get approved.

"What's happening here is there is some immediate needs and that's the part of the $27 billion. The $9.7 [billion] has already passed. The $18 billion is going to pass," Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks said. "The second portion of the bill, the $33 billion, because there is a lot of long-term projects that has to be done. Jetties here on the beach. That's not going to be done yesterday or tomorrow. It's going to take a longer period of time."

Some politicians in the House have voiced concern over the size of the bill, but residents here say the money is needed to rebuild the hospitals, roads and other infrastructure.

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