City's Latest Relief Effort Puts Resources Under One Roof
The city on Tuesday announced it is setting up comprehensive restoration centers to provide all kinds of help and information for anyone affected by the storm, including in one hard-hit section of Queens where residents say it's about time. NY1's Kristen Shaughnessy filed the following report.
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After more than two weeks without power, heat and answers, people in the Rockaways are frustrated and fed up.
"It is the first time I've really cried," said Diane Castiglione, a Rockaway park resident.
"Everybody's very nice. Again no results. There's an old saying don't tell me. Show me," said Jack Petrone, a Rockaway Park resident.
"You saw the direction from President Obama for there not to be red tape to get it done and really as an agency that's what we're working to achieve," said Mary Simms, a FEMA representative.
People flooded out of their homes are coming to disaster assistance centers like the one in Rockaway Park. But after speaking with FEMA officials and insurance agents many wind up even more aggravated.
"You're doing the soundbites, everything is great, well it is not great. I'm homeless. I'm a retired nyc fireman I was down at both 9/11 sites, I was at the plane crash. I did my part time for you to do your part," said Palmer Doyle, a retired New York City firefighter.
The mayor says a lot has already been done, but to streamline the process the city is opening NYC Restoration Centers. They're designed as one stop shopping for residents and businesses that need immediate help. The centers will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Federal, state and city officials will be on hand, along with nonprofit organizations offering help.
"We will at least get you heat and hot water and electricity. Doesn't solve your problems of replacing windows and wallboard and floors, but our main concern is to get everyone up with heat, hot water and electricity particularly as the weather gets colder," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Four centers opened Tuesday in Far Rockaway, Queens, Gravesend and Coney Island, Brooklyn and on Hylan Boulevard in Staten Island. Three others will open later this week in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Breezy Point, Queens and Throggs Neck in the Bronx.
Many residents who heard the mayor speak say it all sounds good in theory and they know people are trying to help, but they say they'll feel forgotten until inspectors show up at their homes and their electricity and heat are back on.