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Napolitano Tours Storm-Ravaged Staten Island

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano toured Staten Island Sunday, meeting state and local officials and viewing recovering efforts following Superstorm Sandy.

Napolitano said the number one issue on Staten Island two weeks after the storm was the housing problem, CBS 2 reported.

1010 WINS' Gene Michaels reports


"Now, finally identifying those houses susceptible to quick repair, and then helping people get those quick repairs so they get back in, begin the cleanout process, and the like," she said. "Those houses not susceptible to quick repair, finding alternative housing for people."

WCBS 880's Jim Smith reports


Napolitano took a a tour with Federal Emergency Management Agency staff. They heard from local officials, as generators whirred in the background to supply power to the area.

Napolitano met briefly with volunteers dishing out food and supplies to Sandy victims, as she kept a watchful eye on the response by the government.

"This is going to be here for the long term," she said. "And we are here for the long term as well."

Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro said FEMA trailers and mobile homes will not be needed.

"We have sufficient apartments for people who have to go into temporary housing," he said.

Molinaro said most people on the south shore of Staten Island if the power comes back on, they will stay in their homes.

After the tour, Napolitano came to the Father Capodanno Disaster Recovery Center, at Father Capodanno Boulevard and Hunter Avenue in Midland Beach, where what Ronnie Cohen of the Mayor's Office called "a one-stop shop for the impacted community" has been set up. The distribution center has the basics, as well as pet food, cell towers to boost reception, and generators to light the night.

But one of the most important features of the center is the ability of people affected in the storm to get answers.

"A mobile disaster recovery center that's being provided by FEMA, and also one of the mobile commands where they're assisting people who have questions," Cohen said.

FEMA has approved some $30 million in aid for Staten Island alone so far, 1010 WINS' Gene Michaels reported.

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