We're more than a week from Hurricane Sandy and in the midst of another storm but Massapequa is still inching towards a recovery.
Power outages have left residents in the dark and cold, and long lines at the pump have left motorists angry and frustrated. However, thanks to continued relief efforts in the local, town, and state level, there has been some help.
At the Mobil station on the corner of Sunrise Highway and Park Boulevard, Doug Chappina considered himself lucky to have only waited on line today to gas up his car for 20 minutes, as opposed to the last time he needed fuel.
“Last Friday at two in the morning I was at a station in Copiague...I waited over an hour there,” he said.
Chappina, a resident of Massapequa Park, initially had lost the power at his home for just over 24 hours after the storm. But while many locals have been critical of the clean-up and power restoration efforts of the Long Island Power Authority, Chappina feels that they’re doing they best they can in a difficult situation.
“There are a lot of poles down and still, and fixing those things takes time,” he said. “I think they could have prepared better, because they knew what was coming and what would happen. The government, the county could have prepared better for the gas situation as well.”
However, when it comes to those afflicted by Sandy’s passing, the worst feeling is that of having lost your home. Many Massapequa residents, displaced by the storm, have turned to the charity of local government to get the essentials they need to get by.
At Marjorie Post Park, the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) currently has a station set up in conjunction with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where they’ve been accepting donations of food and goods and distributing them to the needy.
Kurt Ludwid, a TOB spokesperson, said that hard times like these often bring out the best in people.
“We’re amazed at the generosity of the Oyster Bay residents,” he said. “Last Friday, cars came by and dropped off donations non-stop for over five hours. We couldn’t believe how giving people could be.”
Available at the station are both perishable and non-perishable food items (including dog and car food), paper products, toys for children, books, clothing, footwear, water, baby supplies, and more.
Massapequa residents Trisha Angelo and her husband Mike were taking advantage of the amenities offered by the TOB supply station in light of their harrowing storm experiences during the past week.
“My house is flooded....I’m on the water, right by the Great South Bay, and I have three or four feet of water in my house,” she said. “I have no electricity, the gas was capped off... the house is inhabitable, I can’t go to work, I have a disabled son...right now I’m just in primal mode, just foraging for basic needs. We have no one to stay with, so we’re staying at a hotel for now. We’re just trying to get the pieces together.”
Angelo was extremely grateful for the measure of assistance she was able to find at the TOB supply station as she readied herself for the inevitable clean-up and restoration of her currently damaged home.
“This is fabulous that they have this kind of help for people,” she said. “Now that it’s getting so cold, I didn’t even have a hat...last week it was 60 degrees, now it’s 30 and it’s snowing. So, having the ability to get coats, hats, food, the essentials...it’s been good.”