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Homeowners Cleaning Up From Sandy Worry About Nearby Damaged Homes

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TWC News: Homeowners Cleaning Up From Sandy Worry About Nearby Damaged Homes
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Many homeowners who have managed to struggle back from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy are now having to keep their eyes on the damage done to nearby homes that haven't fared as well. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

Six weeks after Hurricane Sandy, NY1 visited a cul-de-sac in Midland Beach and talked to residents about their growing fear over what might be growing inside two-long abandoned homes.

Like all the other bungalows, the two houses were flooded with close to five feet of water during the storm, a perfect recipe for mold.

Residents told NY1 then that no one had come by to check on the houses or to clean them out.

Now, nearly three months later, a man named Joe Cento came forward to tell NY1 he knows who one of the homes belonged to.

"This is my common-law wife's house, Judy Nugent, and she passed away May 2010," Cento said.

Cento said he's not legally responsible for the house but that he spoke with the lawyer handling Nugent's estate.

He said the attorney told told him he's still looking for two of Nugent's relatives who are responsible for the home.

NY1 called the lawyer. He hasn't called back, and the house is still unchecked.

As for the other abandoned house, neighbors said it's been used for storage for much of the last 10 years.

Michael Daupheny owns the bungalow that sits right between the two.

"I've seen what mold looks like after three days," Daupheny said. "It's going on now, what? Three months now? And nothing's been taken out of any of these houses. Maybe a little trash."

Daupheny said he complained to his fellow neighbors about the smell coming from a window broken in the storm. He said he returned one day to find it boarded up, but has no idea who did it. He hasn't been able to reach the owner. Neither has NY1.

After NY1's story aired, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and City Councilman James Oddo co-signed a letter to the Department of Health and the Department of Buildings about the property. They want to know who's responsible for mold removal in houses that are vacant or have been abandoned.

The DOB said it does not handle mold removal. The DOH hasn't said what it might do to fix the problem.

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