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Pols Update Post-Sandy Relief Efforts

McDonough and Fuschillo speak with Patch about their roles in helping restoring the communities they serve.

Assemblyman David McDonough at his office, which collects Coats for Kids every year.
Assemblyman David McDonough at his office, which collects Coats for Kids every year.
Since Hurricane Sandy tore through Long Island last month, many of the unfortunate residents afflicted by her passing have had to deal with a painful aftermath; loss of power, possessions, and their very homes.

Local politicians have been pitching in to help stricken individuals since Sandy hit and continue to do so, doing their part to provide vital services and support while people strive to pick up the pieces and move on.

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Among these public servants are Assemblyman David McDonough and State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, both of whom say they have been doing their best to assist the constituents in the area.

Despite the help available, many residents are still crippled by the remnants of Sandy that stubbornly refuse to go away; among them, according to Denenberg, are insurance and relief issues.

“Many people that had substantial damage are having trouble with flood insurance and are getting denied by disaster relief,” he said. “These people need the right information...my way to combat those issues are having workshops where I get people from FEMA and Department of Social Services, and we try to have the resources there to answer questions. I also use these functions as forums to listen to the complaints people have.”

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McDonough said that the hard-hit South Shore area has created a wave of homelessness in the area while some of people wait for essential services.

“Many of them are still unable to live in their homes,” he said. “Many of them are waiting for things to be replaced such as circuit boxes, gas meters, and gas lines that were flooded with salt water. Many of them are also waiting for inspections of their houses so that they can call upon the coverage provided by FEMA and their own insurance companies. We’re trying to get attention to them as quickly as possible.”

Fuschillo echoed McDonough’s statements, as many residents in his district are also displaced.

“A lot of my constituents’ houses are still uninhabitable,” he said. “We’re trying to help them get FEMA money so they can have temporary living quarters. We’re working with insurance companies, we’re working with National Grid, LIPA, state agencies, local agencies...we’re also bringing Long Island Cares to many areas in my district every day to provide supplies and food...whatever we can provide to residents, we will.”

“I do a annual food collection drive in my office, and I also do Coats for Kids, but now it’s for all ages,” McDonough added. “This is my tenth year doing that, and if you were in my office right now, you’d have trouble getting in and out because I’ve got hundreds of bags of coats people keep bringing to us.”

McDonough’s communication methods were personal during and after the storm.

“Through cell phones and personal visits,” he said. “We’re using a little bit of email, but that’s only when someone has email and they’re going to their job and they have power to run a computer.”

And Fuschillo said that he tries to spread the word via any means that will work to keep the post-Sandy masses properly informed.

“Via email, via Facebook, robo-calls, and myself being out in the district every single day,” he said. “I’m visiting residents, calling them, and working with local officials as well.”

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This story was written by Chris Boyle

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