Sandy-Ruined Sidewalks on Long Island Still Not Fixed

Nassau says it applied for FEMA funding to repair sidewalks two weeks after Sandy, but didn't get approval until just recently

Nearly a year after Sandy thrashed the tri-state, residents in Nassau County say their sidewalks are still damaged from the storm.

"I'm virtually walking in the middle of the street just because there are sidewalks that are not repaired," said Alicia Ventura, whose normal walk to the supermarket with her 2-year-old son in the stroller has gotten treacherous.

Outside Salisbury Park Drive in East Meadow, 94-year-old Irving Weiss pointed out where a 100-foot-tree used to stand until Sandy knocked it over. The uprooted tree lifted the sidewalk from the ground. 

"The sidewalk looked like a tent, and that was there until April," he said. 

Weiss said it took months for the county to remove the tree stump, and he's still waiting for the sidewalk to be fixed.

NBC 4 New York found more damage along Mannetto Hill Road and Woodbury Road in Woodbury.

"I think it's disgusting, they ought to fire everyone in charge of that," said Weiss.

Nassau County legislator Judy Jacobs says her constituents have complained to her about the damaged sidewalks.

"We received many calls, but we did find out that as long as it was Sandy storm-related, FEMA would reimburse them," she said. "It's a simple fix, but that simple fix has been 10 months and counting."

Nassau County's public works department says it's taking so long to repair the sidewalks because FEMA only recently approved the funding. Nassau applied for funds in November 2012, two weeks after Sandy, FEMA confirmed. But because funding requests require a visit to the damage zones, it takes a while to approve.

In August, FEMA approved nearly $50,000 to repair 63 different sites in Nassau County.

The county says sidewalk repairs should start in October, and fed-up residents say it can't happen quickly enough.

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