FEMA almost kicks out Sandy victims from hotels, but they get reprieve

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jan 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-23 12:11:30-05

Tony Mitchell from Long Beach, like so many other families after Hurricane Sandy, lost everything. She has two little girls and is expecting a new son in just a few weeks.

Then she got even more bad news, this time from FEMA.

FEMA told her the program that was helping her stay at the Best Western in Rockville Center temporarily until she could get back on her feet was coming to an abrupt end.

Money was running out on the transitional sheltering assistance program that was helping her stay here. She would have to be out this Sunday, and that’s just in two days.

“I don’t know what I am going to do. I am pregnant, I have two little girls,” Mitchell said.  “I don’t know what to do right now. I’m about to call FEMA and ask ‘Is this for real?’”

It’s not just Mitchell. Everyone, including dozens of families staying at this Best Western say they also got the call to move.

Diane Fruehworth says she been through enough. She lost her home and hope, and now to be kicked out again, she says it’s just not fair.

“[I’m] petrified,” said Fruehworth. “I have nowhere to go I have my son and daughter and my house is full of mold and I can’t get nothing done.”

Every room – all 80 of them — at the Best Western is occupied by families who are displaced by Hurricane Sandy.  And to be told they have to be out on Sunday they say that is ridiculous!

PIX11 News reached out to FEMA.

We have good news: just this afternoon Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that FEMA, at the request of the state of New York, has now approved a 14-day extension to the program.

So these families can stay where they are until January 27th.

After that, what will they do? That is now the million dollar question.

But at least they have a few more weeks while they fight to get their lives back  together again.

PIX11 News will stay on the side of these families on Long Island.