Many storm victims still need more help a year later - Dallas News |

Superstorm Sandy

Many storm victims still need more help a year later

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Hurricane Sandy - Staten Island debris Hurricane Sandy - Staten Island debris

There was no Halloween in this section of Howard Beach, Queens, in October 2012. Nearly one year after Superstorm Sandy struck neighbors here say they're still haunted by the seemingly endless rebuilding process.

Zulia Lowery says she has run up significant debt rebuilding. While she says FEMA paid her and was helpful, she still needs more assistance to get back to what she considers "normal." So, she turned to another federal program called "Build It Back." She says her application was deleted and had to start all over again. Another storm victim said she is still waiting for help after two months.

It turns out they're not the only ones waiting. Of the 24,000 people the city says signed up for the federal funds, only one Sandy victim has received any money so far.

But, there's a lot of money out there.

If you remember, back in January, Congress signed off on $60 billion in federal aid -- $1.8 billion of that for New York City. And, of that $1.8 billion nearly $700 million is supposed to be used for the build it back program.

So why the holdup? The city blames the feds, promising the next time there's a major catastrophe, the money will flow faster.

A city official told us the one person has been reimbursed because she had such pressing need and all her necessary documents happened to have been processed quickly.

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