FEMA Sandy funds help

When the floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy receded at Providence Rest in Country Club, some boulders supporting the seawall unfortunately went with it.

The nursing facility, where 200 elderly and frail seniors enjoy panoramic views of Eastchester Bay, is not alone among borough cultural and not-for-profit institutions that were hit by Sandy’s howling wind gusts and crushing rain just over a year ago.

Now Senator Jeff Klein is teaming up with Providence Rest, the New York Botanical Garden, Fordham University and a host of others affected by Sandy, announcing on Thursday, Nov. 14 at Providence Rest that the allocation of $3 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief funding had been expedited.

It was approved earlier this year by the state legislature in conjunction with the governors office.

“It has been just over a year since Superstorm Sandy hit our shores,” said Klein, “and while the repair and rebuilding continues, I am happy to report that money so desperately needed to bring the Bronx back has arrived.”

FEMA responsive

Providence Rest administrator Susan Steinberg said FEMA was very responsive to their needs, with $262,000 allocated to to repair infrastructure.

“A team came to Providence Rest several times to assess our property damage and talk to us about our needs going forward,” she said. “We have been reimbursed for all the damage to our air conditioning units and their replacement, debris removal, tree removal, roof repair, catch basin repair. All of that has been taken care of except the seawall, which we are working to repair once and for all.”

Providence residents live just 23 feet from the sea wall, which took a terrible beating during Sandy, she said.

Among the organizations receiving funding were NYBG with over $566,000; Fordham with $254,000; SUNY Maritime College with about $394,000; Manhattan College with about $29,000.

Wave Hill, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, Calvary Hospital, Jacobi Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, and many others also took a pounding from Superstorm Sandy.

At the NYBG, many trees in its 50-acre native forest were felled by Sandy, said Aaron Bouska. Initial reimbursements allowed the garden to reopen quickly after Sandy, he said.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, who also played a role in working to make sure that area institutions got their fair share of FEMA disaster relief monies, said in a statement at the press that “One of the major objectives that we had in our last legislative session was to provide some relief to those adversely affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“I am gratified that some of the funds are reaching our Bronx institutions and I hope there will be more to follow.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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