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Rockaway Beach Police Station Coming Back After Sandy Devastation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- When the Rockaway Peninsula got blasted by Hurricane Sandy, the police were hit like everyone else -- battered and flooded.

As CBS 2's John Slattery reported, it took one local station house a couple of days, but it was up and running Monday.

"I can't imagine it being much worse than what we saw here; the damage we saw here," said NYPD Deputy Inspector Scott Olexa, who commands the 100th Precinct in Rockaway Beach.

In the station house, at 92-24 Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Queens, the basement and backup generator were flooded. The furnace and hot water heater had to be replaced.

As the surge came in, Olexa and many of 130 police and civilians were stranded. But duty called regardless.

"During the course of the night, we wound up pulling eight civilians out of water from in front of the station house," Olexa said.

The 100th Precinct, located in the most southern part of Queens, encompasses Broad Channel, the Rockaways, and Breezy Point, which lost 111 homes to fire.

"It's mind-boggling to see that, and the devastation is unbelievable," Olexa said.

The station house lost power, phone service, 10 police cars and a dozen personal vehicles. Among those vehicles was the one belonging to civilian police employee Rose Kennedy, whose nearby home was also damaged.

"Of course, we're not in any way in the same state as people up in Breezy Point and uptown," Kennedy said.

On the night of Oct. 29, Olexa listened to radio calls his officers could not answer.

"It was heart-wrenching to say the least, not to help people that were out in the street," he said.

Now, the police cars have been replaced, and a generator has restored limited power. And a building that was down and out is back, to help neighbors who are still struggling.

But the station house, like many Long Island Power Authority customers, was still without power outside of generators as of Tuesday. Officers hoped Tuesday that power could be restored within the next week or two.

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