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Bellmore Residents Look Towards Recovery

Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by Nancy Hiler.

Fortunate Bellmore residents with little damage following Hurricane Sandy are helping many who remain in the dark and cold still, and some who lost everything.

“It’s very sad to see,” said Thomas Osborne of Bellmore who, with his wife Jean Marie, opened their Walters Court home to several families during and after the storm. “We had electricity, food, coffee going,” he said. “We were just trying to help people.”

These were neighbors whose homes were flooded out, Osborne said, who lost most of their belongings and are not sure yet if they will be able to rebuild. He also said he saw the Bergmans’ home, only a few blocks from his own, burn to the ground. “It’s a very sad situation” he added, “but we’ll get through it though.”

Many Still Impacted

Many Bellmorites continue to be impacted, some residents whose homes are now uninhabitable and possibly unrecoverable due to quickly growing mold or seawater mixed with home heating oil, other residents still without heat or electricity.

Homes flooded by seawater can become fire hazards once power is restored as oil-soaked materials or wires corroded by salt may ignite.

Bellmore Fire Department officials warned residents with homes damaged by water, oil or both to get out and stay out, said a resident who declined to be identified when he returned after the storm to his house on Sunrise Avenue in Bellmore.

Standing water, mold and oil can be toxic, and cause permanent structural damage,

Seeking Donations for Victims

Those seeking a little reprieve from the cold are invited to the Bellmore Knights of Columbus hall at 2333 Bellmore Ave. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“It’s a warm place, and there’ll be snacks and beverages,” said Grand Night John Murphy. “There’s a lounge area, so we’ll set up a TV, and people can charge their cell phones.”

Father Joseph Coschignano, pastor of St. Barnabas the Apostle Church in Bellmore, also sought Murphy’s help to set up the hall as a drop-off site for donations of items for those in need due to the hurricane to be distributed via St. Vincent de Paul Society.

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