Sandy victims with no heat urged to relocate

December 21, 2012 2:57:45 PM PST
As temperatures drop, there's more stress on those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Mayor Bloomberg is now urging those without heat to relocate during this weekend's cold snap.

2nd Lieutenant Patrick Cassidy only has to walk the streets in Far Rockaway to see the wide spectrum of people who've been struggling.

His job with the National Guard is to see if residents want to stay since many of them still have no heat and the temperature is dropping.

Each house, a different answer, Efraim Aponte and his wife were barely getting by, before the storm, but now they have no power or heat and, with their kids at a relative's house, they are scrambling for a Christmas.

"We're going to spend it me and her. We usually spend it with our kids, but we won't be able to do it this year," Aponte said.

74-year-old Aurea Diaz's situation is brighter.

Her house is OK, but her boiler, is not, and she's getting nowhere with the city's Rapid Repair program.

"I want them to tell me if they're going to help me or not. If they're not going help me, I will look another way," Diaz said.

The National Guard is working closely out here with the FDNY's incident management team, an elite group of firefighters trained to manage disasters around the country, only this time, it's in their backyard.

"We never expected to be our own city, being deployed like we are right now," said Asst. Chief James Manahan, FDNY Incident Management Team.

It's rewarding to make sure these folks are OK.

"It's especially heartbreaking with older folks and little kids. You know that they haven't had a meal in a few days," Cassidy said.

They can give them water, food, blankets, and heaters, but answers are harder to come by.

"It's really tough. I never in my life, been in something like this before," said Rawati Rattansingh, a Far Rockaway resident.

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