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Louisiana Sends 'Spirit Of Louisiana' Fire Truck To Long Beach

LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The "Spirit of Louisiana'' fire truck has been dispatched to Long Island to help in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy.

Louisiana State Fire Marshal H. "Butch'' Browning said New York asked for emergency assistance for the City of Long Beach Fire Department which sustained damage after Sandy.

Browning said Monday the "Spirit of Louisiana'' can easily be placed into service because it's built to the City of New York's specifications.

Louisiana residents raised funds to help replace fire equipment for New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. The truck was returned to Louisiana to help in response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It was decommissioned in 2010, refurbished and transferred to Browning's office to be preserved and ready for future disasters.

Long Beach was one of the hardest hit areas.

The ocean waves carried beach sand for several blocks into the community, burying streets and cars in up to six feet of sand. The city's landmark boardwalk was also ripped apart.

Sandy crippled the city, leaving residents without water, sewer, electricity and phone service. Many in the area are now homeless.

FEMA and the Army National Guard have been providing relief, checking on residents' health and safety as well as handing out meals, water and blankets.

"At this time we're concentrating on getting people the supplies they need for their daily living routine," Long Beach Parks Department Commissioner Bob Piazza told 1010 WINS. "To keep them warm, to keep them fed -- that's our focus here."

The Department of Financial Services will also be in Long Beach to help residents and business owners with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by Sandy. The agency will have representatives available at Long Beach City Hall from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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