Even though many Rockaway homes remain damaged some residents are saying they will not agree to Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed buyout plan. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Rockaway Park resident Charles Gillen's home still faces extensive repairs in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Flood water inundated his first floor, and his family now lives on the second floor.
He and his wife have lived near this beach all their lives, raising three children.
Gillen says he doesn't want to take the buyout because he says that would be like running away, scared.
"I'm certainly not gonna leave because of a storm. I've never seen anything like that storm like Sandy," he said.
People living in the area are still struggling to recover from the storm. Debris still liters streets and power companies continue to work on sandy related issued. Heating issues also persist for hundreds of Sandy's victims while hundreds of others remain displaced.
Governor Cuomo's buyout proposal aims to avoid some of the suffering in flood plains from a future storm, but some homeowners like Gillen say it's not for them.
"It sounds like they're kind of throwing in the towel on the entire peninsula," said one Rockaway resident.
"Everyone I've spoken to wants to stay. We're a very resilient community," said Assembly District 23 Leader Lew Simon.
Others say they know people who might jump at a chance to get what their home was worth before the storm, but that's what concerns those like Gillen who say they're staying put.
"It would definitely change the texture of the community and the bond that everyone has especially since Hurricane Sandy," said Gillen. "A lot of people have come together and you know we had neighbors we'd just say hello to and good morning but since Sandy we really came together as a neighborhood and I know particularly on this block and a lot of other blocks it's been the same way but it'll be very interesting to see."
Some houses near the beach are still boarded up. In addition to offers at pre-hurricane market value, homeowners could receive bonuses and double bonuses.
It's unclear how many homeowners would be included overall in the program.