Thousands of Long Island Homes Unsafe After Sandy, Cuomo Extends FEMA Deadline
By Amy Gernon
Published: December 11 2012
As county officials count the number of homes left unsafe or uninhabitable after Superstorm Sandy, Gov. Cuomo extended the deadline to apply for FEMA assistance.
County officials on Long Island are still counting the homes that were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, but the number has already exceeded 2000 according to reports by Newsday and the Associated Press.
Most of the unsafe homes, approximately 1,400, are in Nassau County, with under 700 in Suffolk County. The Town of Hempstead alone suffered the loss of more than 1,000 homes. In Suffolk, Babylon took the brunt of the destruction, with 308 homes lost. Brookhaven lost 214, Southampton lost 65, Islip lost 63, and Riverhead and Smithtown lost 10 and three homes respectively.
Long Islanders account for 40 percent of the $762 million in federal aid that has been distributed to New Yorkers. Nearly 100,000 Long Islanders, the majority coming from Nassau, have applied for FEMA assistance.
As of Monday, Nassau County residents received $253 in approved aid. Suffolk residents received $56.6 million.
Michael Byrne, the top FEMA official in charge of Sandy recovery in New York, told Newsday that this storm was followed by an unusually high approval rate for aid applications, which is at more than 50 percent when it is typically around 20 percent. Byrne also said that Long Islanders who do not qualify for FEMA aid still have access to other programs, such as counselling and assistance with insurance companies.
Gov. Cuomo announced on Monday that the deadline to apply for FEMA aid has been extended from Dec. 31 to Jan. 28, 2013, giving these figures time to grow. "As we work to help communities get back on their feet, this extension will be a big help to New Yorkers who were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy," Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
Share your thoughts on this article by posting a comment below or by visiting our Long Island Living discussion forum.