Many critical of New York City's slow Sandy response

Stacey Sager reports on the findings
October 22, 2013 3:54:29 PM PDT
51 weeks ago, Superstorm Sandy slammed the Tri-State area.

There was tens of billions of dollars in damage.

The hard truth is that so many are still suffering.

New York City offered their official report on the progress of Sandy survivors.

It's not exactly a rosy picture, and sometimes it is far from it.

"We feel numb right now, the way I feel right now, I feel numb," said Steve Chati, a Superstorm Sandy victim.

Steve Chati in New Dorp Beach showed Eyewitness News how one year after Superstorm Sandy his family's Staten Island home hasn't changed a bit.

As the storm's year anniversary approaches, city officials say they realize a federal fund allotted to the city with nearly $650 million has its fair share of red tape, but that's because the need is so great and complex.

"Remember, this also is not like Rapid Repairs, you might need to have part of your kitchen redone," said Cas Holloway, deputy mayor.

The problem is that residents have had to meet all sorts of bureaucratic requirements, waiting on insurance and environmental assessments with only some progress, recently.

"I was able to get the lengthy environmental requirements at the federal level, not apply to all the Sandy victims," Senator Charles Schumer said.

Still at this point, only one resident, has been given some sense of closure through the fund. Pat Dresch suffered the colossal loss of her home, her husband, and her daughter, who were killed in the storm.

"Small steps, I've gotten to this point so far," said Dresch back on October 10.

City officials say that 24,000 New Yorkers have applied for federal money.

At Monday's news conference they tried to emphasize the positive changes this past year.

Many areas still have homes not yet livable, but finally being built. As for the Chati's, they'll continue to wait.. "I don't like the waiting game or the blame game," said Nicole Chati, a Superstorm Sandy victim.

They are all hoping for some sense of closure some time, soon.