Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter, WNYC News
Janet Babin is a reporter at WNYC covering economic development.
WNYC’s Janet Babin and Amy Pearl continue their post-Sandy #CoastCheck by talking with residents in Broad Channel, the sliver of Queens sandwiched between Howard Beach and the Rockaways. People there are still struggling to make their homes habitable.
Andrew Lennon and his company, Glen Oaks Electric, is doing work in the area.
“It’s been good for business …but the island’s not going to be the same, I think, for years,” he said. “You know, I grew up on the island, and to see what the storm has done to it, it’s tough to see.”
Lennon said many homes he’s working on are dealing with burst pipes and other issues brought on by last week’s frigid temperatures. A nearby house, on stilts, is still submerged in water. Debris is strewn everywhere, and many residents still can’t live in homes where first floors were destroyed by Sandy’s storm surge.
Home owner Martin Dobransky just got electricity this week, but not before his pipes froze from the extreme cold earlier this week, adding to his difficulties.
Though he had flood insurance, he said he still hasn’t seen the money.
“We have insurance, we pay mortgage … and we live like animals,” he said.
Dobransky said the rest of New York has forgotten about him and his neighbors.
Broad Channel resident Stefan Klein said he had seven good years in his house on the lagoon. But now, he might move out.
“Last year Irene, this year another hurricane, Sandy, so we don’t know,” he said. “It’s just like getting worse and worse … we don’t know.”