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
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.