Mill Islanders: Sandy hit us pretty hard

Mill Islanders: Sandy hit us pretty hard
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Waterfront homes on Mill Island were slammed by Hurricane Sandy, say residents who claim the super storm flooded the basements a unearthed bulkheads in the tony community that’s almost entirely surrounded by water.

Sol Needle, the president of the Mill Island Civic Association, said that he lost two vehicles and his home took on four feet of water when Sandy hit.

“A lot of people suffered greatly from the disaster,” Needle said.

The $2-million Basset Avenue manse where jailed pol Carl Kruger once lived, which federal investigators say the legislator paid for by taking bribes, suffered flooding during the super storm, and may have damaged the bulkhead in the back of the house.

“We had about three feet of water in our basement,” said Dottie Turano, who lives there with her son. “It’s a mess.”

Adjustors who visited Turano’s home, which is owned by her sons Gerard and Michael (who is currently serving two years in a prison for playing a role in Kruger’s bribery scheme) had concerns that the bulkhead, which dips into Jamaica Bay, might have taken damage, and made arrangements for engineers to inspect its wooden pilings for structural soundness.

“All of the waterfront properties have a bulkhead,” Turano explained. “Water came up over the whole thing — way over. I don’t know to what extent they’re damage, but we have engineers coming to look. But we’re not typical. We have the insurance companies handling everything.”

Needle attributes at least a portion of the flooding in his home to sewage backups in addition the tidal surge caused by the storm. But his insurance company doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with him since it would be liable for covering any damage caused by water that derived from the city’s sewer system.

“The insurance companies have taken the position that I’m not being covered, because it was a storm surge and not a sewer backup,” said Needle, who, like many living in Mill Island, does not have flood insurance.

The Sunrise Senior Living Center was also seriously damaged during the storm, and its elderly occupants have been relocated to other Sunrise facilities throughout the city, according to Needle.

The Mill Island Civic Association, which holds its meetings at the senior center, has been unable to convene since the storm, making it more difficult for members to express and ascertain information regarding damage caused by the storm, he said.

“We haven’t been able to hold our monthly meeting, because Sunrise Senior living got flooded out too,” said Needle. “We haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and see what people need.”

But not all of the Mill Island has suffered since Sandy struck — some residents managed to make off scott-free from the flooding.

“The flood was very selective,” Needle explained. “On my block everybody got flooded, but across Gaylord Drive, the houses weren’t touched at all.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4514.