First They Wait for Food, Now to Vote

Credit: Joseph Kellard
Credit: Joseph Kellard
For the past week and a half, Long Beachers have been waiting on line for food, toilets and electricity. They have waited on line to talk to FEMA representatives. They have waited on line to gain entry to their beloved island to check on their homes. And today, they waited on line to vote.

Several Long Beachers complained of long lines and overcrowding at the city's only two available polling sites. Apparently, if you knew your election district - which many didn't - you could skip a long line.

The Twice-Displaced Family

The Heffernan's home was first destroyed by fire over the summer and now their rental place on Taft Avenue was ravaged by flood water.

Still, Susan and her husband, Brian toted their two children down to Long Beach from the Garden City Hotel - which also does not have power - to vote.

"We have zero gas, but I had to come vote," Susan said. "This is my daughter's school and I wanted to go look at it. I thought that maybe it would make me feel better. We voted on paper ballots and the school was crowded and dark, but I got to vote."

The Veteran

MREs (meals ready to eat) are not unfamiliar to Bob Clement, a Vietnam Veteran, from the Canals section. Clement came to pick up his food ration from FEMA and voted while he was down here. Although he's taking shelter at a friend's home in Rockville Centre, Clement said "one of our freedoms is the ability to vote."

The Kerrigan Street resident added he would do away with the local elected officials because "I do not think they have been helpful to the extent that they could be.'

"The magnitude of this is unlike anything I have ever seen," he added. "This whole thing turned Long Beach into a third-world country."

The Apartment Renter

Susan Klirsfeld isn't very displaced from her Shore Road apartment complex. She is staying in nearby Lido Beach. While the building itself suffered damage from the storm, her individual unit did not.

"It is my privilege to vote, I would never give up that right, " she told Patch. "People died so I could have the ability to vote. It is very important to vote, no matter what the weather is." 

The Home Dweller

The first floor of Robin Terzi's Oceanview Street home in the West End was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Her electrical panel, furnace and water heater are non-functional from the flood water. But she remains there for fear of looting if she leaves.

"It is like living in a war zone," she said.

Even with her current living conditions, Terzi said she voted because, "it is the most important thing to do, even with this hurricane."

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With reporting by Joley Welkowitz

Peggy Mahoney November 06, 2012 at 08:48 PM
I didn't have to wait longer than 10 minutes! Way to go Long Beach! Lot's of heart and soul! Peggy
Jaime Sumersille November 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Glad to hear it, Peggy! Jaime Sumersille, Regional Editor Nassau County
Joanne November 07, 2012 at 09:13 AM
I was only in there for 10 minutes -- good job!
Gloria G November 07, 2012 at 12:22 PM
I could not vote. I applied for an absentee ballot and never received it >I am in Fl . I was upset Does anyone know about the mail? We went to Garden City and they said they are delivering the mail to Lido But we only received a few pieces not the normal 2 weeks worth of mail


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