Struggle Continues For Residents Of Coney Island In Sandy Aftermath
Nearly three months after Hurricane Sandy, some areas of the city, such as Coney Island, are still struggling to recover. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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On Mermaid Avenue, a line for supplies wrapped around the corner as residents continued to gather for help with the basics to go on with their lives.
"I have no clothes, nothing," said Pamela Ward, a local resident. "I'm going from week to week, paycheck to paycheck."
Pamela Ward said her apartment was flooded, and although she's received $1,000 from FEMA, it doesn't cover all she's lost. So like other Hurricane Sandy victims, she lined up Friday to receive donated items.
Every Friday since Hurricane Sandy hit, the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger has handed out boxes of food.
"Here in Coney Island, there's really been a desert when it comes to food pantries," said Tamara Dawson of the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger. "So we're doing the best that we can to help people."
"The situation? We need some money and some food. That's it," said one local resident.
Banks in the area are boarded up. Evacuated nursing homes remain shuttered. Mounds of sand line some streets. Generators still help heat and power many buildings.
"Terrible," said one resident. "Still no heat in some of the buildings. And still, the elevators don't work in some of the buildings."
The neighborhood library is closed and not expected to open until October.
"I'm sad because it got messed up, and now we can't go to the library to read and stuff and learn," said Leyhana Everhart, a local resident.
The bookmobile travels to Coney Island one day a week, Thursday, for five hours, but Leyana and her family said it doesn't hold too many people.
Over at P.S. 188 Friday, 500 Coney Island families got prepaid credit cards for $1,000 each from Cantor Fitzgerald. The financial firm knows tragedy, losing hundreds of employees on September 11, 2001.
"Our view is, if you give parents money, they know the best way to take care of their kids," said Howard Lutnik, chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald.
The parents said they're appreciative and they're glad some haven't forgotten their struggle.
"You can still see that there are stores that aren't open," said Tamika Swinton, a local resident. "Banks, grocery stores, laundromats. Things that we need. Things that we use all the time. And there are a lot of families here that can really use it."