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Pol to Dep: Allow Hurricane Claims

Deadline Looms On Irene Damages

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder recently sent a letter to Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Carter Strickland urging him to move forward on the property damage claims submitted to the city comptroller’s office last summer as a result of damages sustained by Hurricane Irene.

These damages affected 396 Queens residents, many of whom reside in southern Queens and the Rockaways, according to the legislator.

“Southern Queens and Rockaway residents were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irene and many local residents have waited nearly a year for relief from the damage,” said Goldfeder. “Time is of the essence in settling claims that would provide assistance to cover the costs associated with property damage due to city negligence.”

Many residents believe that damage caused to their homes during Hurricane Irene were due to faulty or clogged sewer lines controlled by New York City DEP, Goldfeder stated. Residents are entitled to file a claim with the comptroller’s office to recoup out of pocket expenses that are deemed city responsibly.

As the claim form for ‘water damage or loss’ indicates, “If your claim is not resolved within one year and 90 days from the date of the occurrence you must start legal action to preserve your rights.”

Hurricane Irene took place on Aug. 28, 2011, which leaves little time left for local residents to get a resolution before they are forced to spend additional money for legal fees, noted Goldfeder.

“Residents who filed a claim did so in a timely manner however, if their cases are not resolved within allotted time, they will incur additional legal fees to retrieve the money they are rightfully owed,” Goldfeder concluded. “Rebuilding is not a luxury- it is a necessity. I urge Commissioner Strickland to provide the Comptroller’s office with the necessary information to properly access and provide immediate reimbursement where appropriate.”

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