Sandy Survivor Living in Shack Braces for Snowstorm

A Sandy survivor on Staten Island has spent the last six months living in a 300-square foot shack behind his house and is now bracing for the first snowstorm of the season.

Kenneth Ebel's house on Kiswick Street still requires extensive repair work after the hurricane, and he has been living in the back during construction.

"This is often referred to as a garage because of how it looks," Ebel said. "I refer to it as a little shack. It's my little shack."

The little shack has no heat or water. Instead, Ebel uses spaces heaters and carries water in with a bucket. In the summertime he says it worked well. Now that the temperatures have plunged, it's no longer the case.

"I know it was 32 (degrees) this morning; inside it was 32 degrees," said Ebel.

He says he is prepared for the impending snowstorm, though he's not exactly looking forward to it.

"I'm kind of rugged that way... I have a sleeping bag and tons of blankets."

Ebel is nearing the end of the project to fix his main house. It's taken so long because the $25,000 he got from FEMA only covered half of the total cost of repairs. And because Ebel is single with no children and works as a part-time handyman, he decided to wait for more financial help instead of taking out loans.

"I took my time so I never went over budget, and I was waiting for anything where I got help from the community."

And the help has come: between the city's Rapid Repair and mold programs, and charitable organizations like the Tunnel to Towers Foundation and All Hands, he expects to move back into his house by February.

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