Sandy residents in New York still left in the cold

(CBS News) STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - It's been five weeks since superstorm Sandy hit the U.S. Northeast. Damage is estimated at $30-$50 billion. On Tuesday, FEMA said the agency's relief fund is running out of money. More than 30,000 homes and businesses are still without power.

The Staten Island home Joe Ingenito shares with his wife and three children is still without heat.

"I can't afford to do these," said Ingenito, showing his boiler. "I have no more money. I'm broke."

Joe Igenito of Staten Island, N.Y., shows the broken boiler in his home that was flooded from superstorm Sandy.
CBS News

Ingenito has run out of money to fix the boiler flooded out by Sandy. He is still waiting for his insurance check.

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"I have flood insurance, I have homeowners' insurance, I am fully insured," said Ingenito, who added that he hasn't gotten anything.

About 6,000 homes and 800 apartment complexes around New York are without heat. When we met Suzette Robinson in her Brooklyn apartment, the only heat she had was from her gas stove. She suffered 16 straight days in the cold.

"It was freezing in here," she said. "You could blow smoke out of your mouth. That's how cold it was."

The severe damage and shortage of repairmen have created delays few expected would last this long. Around 6,700 buildings in New York City need major work to become habitable. Approximately 2,100 families are still in FEMA-paid hotel rooms.

"All my electrical is all brand new," said Ingenito as he showed around a room. "I had to do it all out of my pocket."

Ingenito said he's spent his entire savings on fixing what he could. Asked where he would be if he didn't have that $10,000, Ingenito said: " I'd be up a creek in a boat with a hole on it."

Right now he's paddling as hard as he can.

  • Michelle Miller

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