Six months after Sandy, residents struggle with stubborn mold

(Credit: Getty)
(Credit: Getty)

When Hurricane Sandy hit Jackie Rogers’ home in Far Rockaway, the last thing she was worried about was a mold infestation. Situated on the island between Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, she packed up and left her home of six years as the storm rolled in.

“I heeded Mayor Bloomberg’s words,” Rogers, who is in her 40s, told Metro. “I just got out.”

Now, six months after the storm hit, she’s still dealing with a mold infestation she never fathomed, one that’s gone from bad to worse even as she’s tried to battle it.

She’s not alone. A new joint report by six community organizations indicates that about 60 percent of homes, perhaps tens of thousands, suffering significant water damage during Sandy now are beleaguered with mold spores. On Tuesday, the report’s authors led community leaders on a walking tour of houses damaged by mold, through Staten Island and Far Rockaway, including a look at Roger’s house.

She seemed optimistic that including her house would help bring attention to the issue in her neighborhood.

She said she and her brothers returned to her 1,532-square-foot coastal blue and white home in early November, to gut the soaked drywall, rip out the sodden beige carpet and trash the sopping furniture. And though she and her family acted quickly on the road to rebuilding the bungalow, the mold still set in. Even after she hired someone to take care of the problem in December, she said that by February, “There were more mold spores than when I started.”

In January, after significant media attention was brought to the issue, a mold remediation program began. Yet, though the federal government has begun stepping in to help pay for remediation, funding reportedly does not extend to mold contamination on exterior walls, including under siding.

“Even though my walls were gutted inside, the insurance says they can’t pay for the thick mold on the outside of my home,” Rogers said.

The New York Times reported in March that although mold may contribute to respiratory problems, there is no conclusive evidence that it is toxic. Yet politicians and community organizers have consistently pointed to the residual respiratory problems following the 9/11 World Trade Center collapse, using that as an example of long-term Sandy-mold potential.

The organizations responsible for the new report, The Alliance for a Greater New York, Community Voices Heard, Faith in New York, Make the Road NY, New York Communities for Change, and Voices of Community Activists and Leaders NY, are recommending a broadened awareness campaign to bring attention to the issue. They also recommend allocating funds specifically for mold and punishing landlords who do not remedy the issue.

“It is absolutely inexcusable that this is still a problem six months after a major hurricane’s flood waters have receded,” said Deborah Axt, co-executive director of Make the Road New York. “We’re showing that the city’s efforts, however well-intentioned, have ultimately been unsuccessful in addressing the Sandy mold crisis.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.