Long Beach figures prominently in a New York Times story about residents from various shoreline communities, from Long Island to New Jersey, still recovering after Hurricane Sandy hit last October.
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The first half of the feature piece, published Aug. 30, touches on people from 74-year-old Long Beach native Jonathan Goldman, who returns to his hometown each summer to enjoy the boardwalk, to tenants at Lido Beach Towers who are embroiled in a lawsuit over canceled flood insurance.
Since the storm as many as 30 percent of residents have not returned to Long Beach, and many spend their days calling and waiting for appointments with contractors, insurers, inspectors and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and many want the world to know “how hard, long, slow, confused, painful and obstructed by incompetence the road back has been,” the Times reports.
Among them are Jennifer and Steve Magnliano, who are living in a one-room basement apartment in Atlantic Beach and paying $1,000 a month on top of a mortgage on their house that is being repaired and elevated 10 feet. Jennifer told the Times about Long Beach since the storm:
“We’re grateful, we’re thrilled for all the progress that’s been made, but there’s still a lot of despair. You go down a lot of these streets, and they’re full of houses where no one is back home. For a lot of my neighbors, a square of dirt is all they have. Summer for a lot of people has been torture, a web of paperwork and applications, typically resulting in nothing. People are just trying to eke out a living. The beach? That’s an afterthought.”
Others featured in the story include Long Beach historian Roberta Fiore, Rev. Brian P. Barr of the recently-reopened St. Mary of the Isle Roman Catholic Church, and Johanna Sofield of Long Beach Christmas Angel, a local charity.