Sandy victims say they are still not getting help

Kristin Thorne reports from Lindenhurst.
February 18, 2014 3:34:06 PM PST
Nearly a year and a half after Superstorm Sandy, far too many homeowners say they are still not getting the help they need.

Lindenhurst is becoming known as a ghost town.

Lots of people have given up and moved out because of all the red tape from federal and state relief programs.

Donald Werle's home is still not livable.

"The way they hired these people to take care of us as far as paperwork and stuff it's not working," Werle said.

New York Rising says it's handed out $103 million in reimbursements to 3,000 homeowners on Long Island.

But they, as well as FEMA, can't help people like Gary Silberman.

Because he didn't have flood insurance, he's automatically denied from the programs.

"You know I hoped for more, they let us down, they really did," Silberman said.

Eyewitness News has heard from people about how their paperwork got lost, how they had to wait weeks to get a call back from their case managers, how they were told to take out loans and are now being penalized for it.

Even the ones who've received award letters are leery because of the entire experience.

"When I got the letter I thought there was a light at the end of the tunnel and then two days later the light is out," said Barbara Schaffer, a Lindenhurst resident.

For others, the state and federal programs have worked.

Those people are just harder to find.