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Mayor's Office Calls Reports That 'Tent City Must Be Taken Down By Jan 1' Unfounded

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Residents and relief workers in New Dorp Beach were in an uproar, on Saturday, over rumors that the city was ordering a tent city set up by volunteers to be taken down by January 1.

As 1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reported, nearly two months since Superstorm Sandy, Eddie Saman of New Dorp Beach was still without power or heat. His only lifeline was the collection of volunteers working out of the tents on Cedar Grove Avenue.

1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports


"Without this, I would never survive," Saman said.

Saman and other residents of New Dorp Beach rely on the volunteers for food, cleaning supplies, warmth and even clothes.

WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports


"I got everything, even the socks, from this place," he said.

But organizer Donna Graziano said the city has ordered the tents to come down by New Year's over fears that they will not withstand the cold and snow.

"It's a waiting game, you know," Graziano told WCBS 880's Jim Smith. "I'm not going to wait till January 1 and someone comes and I find out I'm being shut down, you know, so if I get the word out."

Saman was furious at the idea that the tents could come down.

"Shame on the city if the even try to knock down even one tent," he said.

Graziano called a meeting of volunteers, started a petition drive to keep the tents in place, and has continued supporting the residents with "cleaning supplies, shampoo, deodorant."

In an email to WCBS 880 the Mayor's Office said that reports of an order to take down the tent city are unfounded, but Graziano said she is still cautious, and wants the city to help find tents in a warmer location.

Do you think the city should take the tents down? Leave your comments below...


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