Friday, October 31, 2014

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NY1 For You: Rockaways Resident Tries To Track Down Her Towed Car

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Destruction from Sandy has been especially devastating for residents of the Rockaways, but one woman from Far Rockaway who is still without utilities says that it is human bureaucracy that is keeping her from her towed, flooded car. NY1's Susan Jhun filed the following NY1 For You report.

Hurricane Sandy flooded the car of Catherine Waldo-Elliott, but the displaced Far Rockaway resident's troubles didn't end there.

"The city came and towed all the cars away. They didn't give us any type of notice or anything," says Waldo-Elliott.

The car had been parked on a street in the Arverne section of Queens until this past weekend, when it suddenly disappeared. Waldo-Elliott heard cars were being towed and called the city to find out hers was one of them.

"I don't understand why they didn't put notices on the door to let us know that this was going to happen," says Waldo-Elliott.

She says she was able to retrieve personal items from her totaled car at a tow lot but was unable to take the car without paying the towing fees.

The problem is the Federal Emergency Management Agency will not cover the cost of the car without a report from a mechanic, which Waldo-Elliott did not get before the car was towed.

"I don't have any paperwork, they can't give me any paperwork to show me that my car is down there," says Waldo-Elliott.

When a NY1 crew went to the lot, the owner of the towing company told the station he was instructed by the city to tow flood damaged cars off the street to assist insurance companies, clear the streets and avoid the cars from being stolen.

Waldo-Elliott understands all those things, but what she doesn't get is why the city is not notifying owners and how she is suppose to file her claim with FEMA without her car.

NY1 called the Mayor's Office to get answers to those questions but had not heard back by Wednesday.

In the meantime, Waldo-Elliott, who is battling cancer, still has no power in her home and is trying desperately to get her life in order.

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If you'd like "NY1 For You" to look into a problem, call our 24-hour helpline at 212-379-3599 or send an e-mail to ny1foryou@ny1.com.

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