Slow progress in the Rockaways - New York News

Superstorm Sandy

Slow progress in the Rockaways

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Two weeks after calling the NYC Rapid Repairs team for help and after Fox 5 News called the mayor's office Yaffa Epstein finally got a contractor to her Rockaway Beach Boulevard home on Thursday.

The FEMA paid contractor sent by the city began putting a boiler in her basement. She's had no heat or electricity since Sandy hit.

When we arrived, we also saw a half dozen men working upstairs in Yaffa's house removing moldy floors and walls. But the yellow-shirted workers were not from the city. They're from a church charity Yaffa met yesterday at a relief center, North Carolina Baptist Men.

Yaffa's next-door neighbor also had a Rapid Repairs team working at her home even though she called just two days ago.

The Army Corps of Engineers has spent three weeks removing debris from the storm surge.

But the rest of the Rockaway Peninsula has not fared as well. Now exactly one month after Sandy hit, across the street from Yaffa's home not one store has reopened. At many stores on Rockaway Beach Boulevard there is electricity but the wiring is so corroded from the polluted water of the storm surge that turning on the power would start fires.

Many stores remain shuttered. Relief workers say looters are sneaking into stores in front of them. Dozens of homes remain boarded up as well, while on the beach sit the ruins of the boardwalk.

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