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Friday, December 19, 2014

Bipartisan support leads to Sandy program renewal
(Page 2 of 3)
Brian Croce/Herald
Legislator Laura Curran , second from right and her colleagues in the County Legislature, including Norma Gonsalves, far left, and Kevan Abrahams, said that re-funding the program was the right move at a press conference last week in front of the property of East Rockaway resident Theresa Gaffney, second from left.

“After a year and a half, there are still people like Theresa and her family who have not been able to get back into their homes,” Gonsalves said. “But the Clean and Seed program is a step in the right direction.”

Gaffney, who despite being without a home is still paying her mortgage and taxes, said that the Clean and Seed Program is a great initiative, and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should continue to pay for projects like this.

“So many people are struggling to get home and/or continue to rebuild,” she wrote in an email. “The last thing on their mind is that landscape of their homes. … FEMA promised to pay for this because of the raw sewage that was in the water around our home. So for the health of the residents and the landscape of the neighborhood, FEMA should continue funding what they promised.”

She added that Mangano and Nassau County are doing the right thing by continuing the initiative, but still must seek more funding. “I applaud them for restarting this program,” she wrote. “I think that we have to continue to fight for the federal government to fund this project.”

In the aftermath of catastrophes like Sandy, Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams said, people need government most. “At the end of the day it’s about rebuilding the South Shore to its previous splendor,” he said of the bipartisan agreement.

Two weeks after Sandy, Barnes Avenue residents Jeffrey and Erica Press told the Herald that the sewage discharged in the rupture came from a force main and vault that breached the pavement during the storm. Jeffrey added that the underground structures — which usually combine and pump sewage from several smaller lines to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment plant in East Rockaway — ruptured on Oct. 29, 2012, and gushed raw sewage until that Nov. 1 or 2.

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