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Friday, November 2, 2012

Relief Comes To Rockaways, But Residents Still On Edge

Ruth Dina Ticona washes the mud from clothing damaged by Superstorm Sandy in the front yard of her home in the oceanside community of Far Rockaway, New York, on Thursday. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

The Rockaways region of Queens, New York was one of the hardest hit by Sandy. Residents have been clamoring for aid, and some supplies are starting to arrive.

The Red Cross arrived Wednesday night with some ‘MREs’ or meals ready to eat. And the mayor’s office reports that three food and water distribution sites are being set up in Queens.

But Meminger says people in the Rockaways feel the response has been too slow.

“This is New York City! We’re talking about the most powerful city in the country, in the world perhaps,” Meminger said. He added that with all those resources, it’s hard to believe that parts of the city have been immobilized.

Meminger says politics could be part of the reason aid hasn’t arrived sooner.

“These are disaster zones, point blank, and I think behind-the-scenes, there’s probably some wrangling over who should come in. The NYC administration is not going to allow just anyone to come in,” he said.

Meminger says that while the Rockaways had been put under an evacuation order, many people didn’t have the means to leave.

And he added that no one believed that the storm would be as devastating as it was.

“The New York City subway was flooded out. Unheard of! So, this was just a storm, people didn’t realize it would have this sort of impact,” Meminger said.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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