Story by Nicole Murphy.
Nassau County and Red
Cross have teamed up to help the thousands of Long Islanders without resources
in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
A shelter at Levittown
Memorial High School, located at 150 Abbey Lane, opened Sunday night where more
than 180 residents fled seeking heat, power and food.
Coleen Smith, special
assistant to Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, said that dozens have left
since Tuesday morning to check on their homes, but she expects attendance may
begin to rise again as the temperature drops.
"There are a lot of
people who are here because they're out of their homes or their homes washed
away in the storm,” Smith said. “A lot of local people without power are here
to eat, warm up or charge their phones."
The building's gymnasium
is lined with cots for residents to sleep in, in addition to a dining room with
fresh sandwiches, milk, fruit and coffee and a game room for children's
Smith said that the Red
Cross has been more than generous in supplying food and shelter necessities,
while residents have been dropping off additional items like clothing, cups,
plates and toilet paper.
Long Beach resident
Jennifer DeCarlo arrived at the shelter early Tuesday morning after her and her
two daughters, ages eight and 11, experienced severe flooding and damage to
their East Chester Street apartment.
"The water rushed
through the front door into our apartment," DeCarlo recalled.
"Tuesday morning, before we left, I looked in there and the water had
knocked everything over. A lot of our belongings are ruined. Our refrigerator
was knocked over."
Since the storm hit,
DeCarlo has been unable to reach her parents, which she said is the most
frightening of all.
"They live in
Baldwin and I haven't heard anything about the conditions there," she
explained. "I can't reach them and I don't know how they are doing."
For the duration of
recovery, DeCarlo is hoping her family is able to return to her hometown and
her daughters are able to get back to school.
"I hope my landlord
will put me in the hotel in Long Beach if my house isn't repaired,"
DeCarlo said. "I want my kids to be able to go back to school regularly and we
can't really be out of town."
Smith said she expects
the shelter will be open at least until all traffic lights are restored as
schools will then begin to open.
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