Superstorm Sandy brought mental anguish to millions. But she also left behind a surge of victims suffering from physical injuries – rashes, asthma, and even lung infections, linked to those living on the devastated South Shore – from the Rockaways to Babylon.
Homeowners in Long Island’s flood zones have been taking precautions, using protective suits, masks, gloves and boots as they warily clear muck, sewage and mold-infested wallboard. Hundreds of residents have been seeking medical attention, among them members of the Livolsi family.
“It is a major concern for both myself and my family. My nephew has a cough … put on steroids. No one has given us any information on what it could do long term, even short term,” Connie Livolsi told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Wednesday.
Lead paint, gasoline, and oil permeated streets, mixing with tons of debris and dust. Raw sewage spilled into several neighborhoods when Sandy’s surge overflowed and shut down Bay Park’s treatment plant.
With the medical center flooded in nearby Long Beach, up to 75 residents a day have sought help in M*A*S*H-type medical units -with the federal Disaster Medical Assistance team.
There have been complaints of scratchy throats, difficulty breathing, nausea and coughing.
“My head has been hurting and I never had a sinus infection like this before. The quality of the air, I’m scared. The dust, bacteria, sewage that backed up,” Long Beach resident Donna Strasser said.
Deputy Commander Christine Brexel said 10 percent of the patients she’s seen have been children.
State-of-the-art tents on a soccer field have transitioned a lot next to the flooded hospital, where 45-foot aluminum trailers have become a new ad-hoc emergency room.
Read more at CBS New York