FEMA examine tornadoes' damage

September 22, 2010 2:15:08 PM PDT
Wednesday officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency toured several communities in the New York City area damaged by last week's tornadoes. FEMA representatives fanned out across New York City Wednesday, to try and put a dollar figure on the damage caused by last week's tornado-laden storm.

Queens College was among the sights assessed.

A school official pointed out the casualties, which included the university tennis center that is now roofless.

"It looks like about a million dollars (of damage)," John Haynes, of Queens College said.

Damage, debris and response costs are the criteria FEMA considers when determining whether the city is eligible for federal disaster assistance, and whether total property loss is enough to qualify for federal help.

The damage must equal just under $25 million dollars.

"I think the city should get it. I don't know, I mean obviously if someone that has a lot of damage should definitely get something," said Bernie Sanders, a Queens resident.

Bernie Sanders says he's watched his Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood go from a major disaster zone over the last week to a minor one Wednesday.

He says while the clean-up is underway, the city's response is much too slow.

"I think the city should have definitely gone out and hired independent contractors to go get it if they didn't have enough manpower," Sanders said.

"It did take a little bit longer than I expected because this block was awful," said Naomi Fayzulayev, a Queens resident.

For a while, Naomi and her family were trapped in their home by downed trees.

In fact, brand new neighbor, Ariella Horowitz's yard, is still littered with them along with a few cardboard moving boxes.

"It's hard. We just moved in so, we got lots of boxes to get rid of but we haven't been able to put them out for the garbage," Horowitz said.