In Long Beach, the 'overwhelming' cleanup after the storm

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Like many, the couple are looking for a new place to rent as they wait for their home to be repaired. “We don’t know when, exactly, our home will be suitable to move back into,” said Pelletiere. “It’s extremely difficult to find a place that will rent month-to-month. My fiancé and I are a bit reluctant to sign a long-term lease somewhere else. Our hearts are in Long Beach, and no matter how bad things become as a result of Hurricane Sandy, we will not turn our backs on this community.”

Board of Education President and Boyd Street resident Roy Lester reported that the water on his block had been about 9 feet deep, and the flooding destroyed his basement. “At first the insurance company told me, ‘Don’t do anything. Wait for the adjuster,’” Lester said. “Now they’re telling me they don’t know when the adjuster is coming, and they’re telling me to tear down my walls because I’m not covered.”

East Beech Street resident Alyson Goodman, 29, said that her home sustained significant flooding as well. Her family has been removing debris from their home when they’re not staying with relatives outside the city and placing it outside for removal, a ubiquitous image throughout the city.

“We have a portable heater, we’re sleeping in layers, I had three blankets on last night,” she said. “At the end of the day, we’re OK. I’d rather take sleeping in four layers than not having a house, and the car is replaceable. Houses burned down in the Canals and those people don’t have homes.”

Though the city has ordered a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, and while the National Guard, state, county and Long Beach police patrol the city, there are fears about safety.

“It’s very dark here at night, it’s very scary — we’re hearing stories of looting,” Ives said. “We don’t know if it’s true because nobody is coming with information. We’re all retired cops and firemen so we’re here to protect our property.”

Pelletiere said that her neighbor’s home was looted.

“I can speak for my neighbors when I say that it did not only instill fear within us all, but it made us angry,” she said. “After everything Long Beach residents have been through as a result of this storm, it is truly disheartening that people would do such a thing.”

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