Bay Park residents short on money and patience 22 months after Hurricane Sandy
Homeowner Carl Zipperlen, left, with friend Brian Barry in front of Zipperlen’s newly-raised home last December.
Since Hurricane Sandy struck nearly two years ago, the landscape of hard-hit Bay Park has changed drastically. It is now an eclectic mix of small houses perched high atop newly poured cement foundations, along with a few new boxy, modular homes that were assembled piece by piece. There are also uninhabited and uninhabitable houses, some with For Sale signs in front. There are, as well, empty lots where homes once stood. Sandy did a number on Bay Park.
But many residents of this close-knit community have deep roots here. Others, initially attracted to its location near the water, have found it a great place to raise their families. And while some had to leave for a variety of reasons — mostly financial — after the storm, many stayed to rebuild, and say they are coming back better than ever.
An empty lot
Carlos and Megan Moran had a cozy two-bedroom cottage on West Boulevard — just the right size for them and their daughter, Sabrina, who’s now 4. After fleeing Sandy, they returned to find that the storm had done so much damage to their home that it was unlivable — as were many in the Bay Park area. The Morans moved in with relatives in Rockville Centre for two weeks, and then lived with Carlos’s parents in Lynbrook for a while.
“We didn’t do anything [to repair] the house,” Carlos said. “Our NY Rising case manager told us not to do anything.” They stopped paying their mortgage after four weeks, and asked for a waiver. Their mortgage company declined.
“After three engineers’ reports,” Carlos said, gesturing toward the empty lot where his house once stood, “it was condemned by the county and torn down. Our house is gone.”
The Morans decided to rent an apartment in Hewlett, which cost them $10,000 in security deposits and moving expenses. The rent was the same as their mortgage payment — $2,100 a month. They were eventually able to modify their mortgage, moving their missed payments to the back end of their payment schedule.