NEW YORK (WABC) — The agency whose mission is to help speed recovery after disastrous storms may in fact be preventing families left homeless by Sandy from rebuilding.
Our investigation has found that on Long Island FEMA appears to be undercutting on insurance claims leaving families no better off than they were days after the 2012 storm.
Nearly a year-and-half after Sandy, Kathy Gullo still lives in a trailer. What was left of her home, she had torn down after 4 different engineering inspectors came to the same conclusion: it should be demolished and rebuilt.
Hoffer: Engineer after engineer, said it is less costly and safer if you rebuild?
Gullo: Than try to fix it.
Hoffer: Everyone except for the insurance company?
Gullo: Except for the insurance company.
Although she had coverage for $300-thousand dollars in flood damage, she only received $138-thousand dollars from FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program which pays the vast majority of Sandy flood claims.
“We’ve been trying to get them to understand that they didn’t do the right thing and we’re waiting for more money before we can even start,” Gullo said.
Hoffer: I can put my hand in this crack. I can see outside.
Peter Mastrandrea: Yeah.
Two engineer reports blame the “flood surge” for cracking Peter Mastrandrea’s foundation making his home in Massapequa ”unsafe for habitation,” but FEMA’s engineer found the cracks were not caused by pre-existing conditions. FEMA agreed to pay Peter $46-thousand.
Mastrandrea: It’s criminal.
Hoffer: You thought you were covered?
Mastrandrea: Evidently I wasn’t. Neither were thousands of other people.
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