Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that sent 320 gallons of water into Stephen Conklin's waterfront Seaford home, and the battle for funds remains in full tilt.
Conklin and his family had adhered to evacuation orders before the tidal wave hit his home from the south, leaving the first floor contaminated and destroyed by salt water. There were also cracks in the foundation.
Conklin, a retired New York City firefighter, suffered $250,00 worth of storm damage, but has only received a fraction of that cost in insurance money so far, Legis. David Denenberg, D-Merrick, said earlier this month.
Conklin said that he paid for federal flood insurance, but was not reimbursed for damage because of the policy's "earth movement clause" which precludes coverage caused directly by earth movement even if the earth movement is caused by flood.
State officials recently announced that they would reimburse those denied coverage by the federal government by this exception, Denenberg said.
Conklin is disputing the denial of coverage under flood insurance and said the tidal surge rose six feet by his home.
He said his policy included a statement saying that he wouldn't be covered unless there was a condition of general flooding in the area.
"I’m standing here homeless for 12 months," Conklin said. "Are
they sitting on this money and thinking about spending it on other things? It’s
like being in a car accident and the ambulance leaves you on the sidewalk."
Conklin is still waiting for his home to be leveled, and then it will be a while before the rebuilding is completed. In the meantime, he's lived in Massapequa and is now moving to Seaford. His belongings, and those of his children and wife, are scattered in multiple houses of loved ones.
"I’m just very frustrated about being out of my
house," Conklin added." It’s my daughter’s senior year in high school, my son is dyslexic…I have
other problems. I will never trust the government again."
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