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Promises, Promises: Brooklyn residents battle red tape in Sandy recovery

Posted: 11:11 PM, Apr 30, 2013
Updated: 2013-05-01 14:34:05-04

GERRITSEN BEACH, Brooklyn (PIX11) – Nick Curattalo is one of many, increasingly frustrated with the slow and tedious road to recovery, particularly in his community in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn.

“As a New York City resident as a NY resident as a United States citizen I feel almost ashamed that this is still the case 6 months later,” said Curattalo, a Gerritsen Beach resident.

Curattalo, who created a Facebook page to bring the community together and help coordinate repair efforts said Sandy devastated residents have been left disappointed by practically every agency.  FEMA, their state and city and lastly the insurance companies, who have continued to stall and delay claims that have prevented homeowners from finishing repairs to their homes.

“The city is more concerned with big gulps and sizes of soda than about people getting back into their homes.  Forget about promises.  FEMA alone makes it so difficult to file a claim some have even given up and said I don’t want the assistance,” said Curattalo.

And then there’s the issue of money.  There is more needed, but getting it to those who need it is taking much too long, according to many Sandy victims.  Sandy hit on October 29th, but federal dollars from the Hurricane Sandy Relief Bill was only released for distribution this past Friday on April 26th.

Doreen Garson, Gerritsen Beach’s Volunteer Fire Chief said ten percent of their residents still can’t move back home, but they are trying only to be caught up in a flood of paperwork.

“In the beginning all hell broke loose and everyone was here.  FEMA was here and Red Cross was here and the Army was here. All the elected officials were here and now it just feels like everybody is on their own. We gave you the basics and you have to do the rest on your own,” said Garson.