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Bellmore and Merrick Still Feels Sandy’s Sting

Bellmore and Merrick Still Feels Sandy’s Sting
Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.

Despite the lingering effects plaguing many in Long Island’s most stricken areas, the scourge of Hurricane Sandy has finally taken its leave for most local residents.

Still, the memory of such an intense storm is sure to remain in the hearts and minds of many in the Bellmore and Merrick area for quite some time. However, it’s safe to say that the rampant power outages, flooding, downed trees and bitter cold won’t be missed by anyone anytime soon.

Kurt Treutler of Bellmore was deprived of power for an extended period, but nonetheless considered himself one of the lucky ones.

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“We lost power for about ten days, and cable for about twelve,” he said. “Our whole block was out. But, other than that, we got off easy. A lot of people had it worse...a lot worse. I have a lot of friends who lost a great deal, so I was thankful that it was only for ten days.”

Treutler and his wife found various ways to keep occupied during their bout with no power.

“We lit candles, listened to the radio, had candlelit dinners and that’s about it,” Treutler said. “Then, we were out spending time with friends during the day. My wife couldn’t go to work because she works in the city.”

Hurricane Sandy’s impact upon Barry Morris of Merrick, however, was negligible for the most part.

“I was very fortunate, because I was only out for one day,” Morris said. “We had some trees come down, and we lost a fence, but nothing really major.”

But while Morris lucked out with the electricity, his ordeal at the gas pump more than made up for it.

“I’m embarrassed to say, but one morning I sat at a gas pump from 5:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and still didn’t get gas,” Morris said. “There were about 50 people on line with me, because we had been promised that the truck was on its way, so rather than lose the spot I sat there. We had a great community day that day, actually.”

Christine Dooley of North Bellmore also managed to avoid the wrath of Sandy for the most part.

“Luckily, we didn’t lose any power,” she said. “The lights flickered on and off, but we didn’t lose power. However, we lost our Cablevision for 24 hours, so there was no phone, no internet, on TV, but other than that, we were very lucky.”

Dooley fortune enabled her to put up relatives who were hit much harder by the powerful storm.

“We had family members who were flooded out of their residence in Wantagh,” Dooley said.  “So they came to stay with us for the week.”

While Gavin Fullam of Merrick was also among those suffered only a light brush with Sandy, he spoke of a friend who was not quite as fortunate.

“I never lost power,” Fullam said. “The only thing I had was a bunch of roof shingles that were ripped off my roof. That was about it. I got lucky. But my friend in Seaford lost power for eleven days, his whole roof got ripped off, a tree fell on his house, another one fell on his jacuzzi, he lost this car. He had a lot of damage. He got pretty beat up.”

Effie Leonardi of Merrick is another Long Islander who suffered great losses due to the Super Storm’s passing.

“We were out of power for thirteen days,” Leonardi said. “There was no heat, so we couldn’t live at home. It was too cold. Also, our garage was trashed by flooding, as well as our new car...that’s gone too. We’ve gotten a little assistance from FEMA, and once we get a letter from our insurance we can submit it to them and see what help we qualify for.”

Leonardi had strong words when asked about the performance of local utilities in response to Hurricane Sandy’s passing...sentiments echoed by many in the area.

“I think LIPA’s performance was abysmal,” she said. “With the terrible nature of the storm, they should have stepped up to the plate and reached out to their customers instead of shutting their doors and going into hiding.”

How are you coping with the after effects of Hurricane Sandy? Tell us in the comments below.

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