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Volunteers Help Rebuild Brooklyn Homes Damaged by Storm

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TWC News: Volunteers Help Rebuild Brooklyn Homes Damaged by Storm
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A year and a half after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the city, some New Yorkers are still trying to put their homes back together, and volunteers continue to help, making sure those homeowners don't feel forgotten. NY1's Erin Clarke filed the following report.

Memories of when the water met their doors still shake up folks who live in Canarsie.

"We could see the water coming through the doors in the basement, and then, yeah, I was very scared," said Daphne Lebrun, a Canarsie resident.

More than a year later, traces of Hurricane Sandy's destruction remain.

"Here is, my washing machine's in there, the kid's bicycle, we get some suitcase," said Louisitte Darby, a Canarsie resident. "Everything here is, like, destroyed."

Many of the people who live here are still repairing their homes.

"It's been a long road back for these homeowners," said Chelsea Muller of Rebuilding Together NYC. "They've given money and put their trust in individuals to help them rebuild, and it's been left undone."

That's where Rebuilding Together NYC comes in. The nonprofit's mission is to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners, bringing volunteers and communities together. In this case, they're painting, doing yard work and more to get these homes that were flooded by water from Jamaica Bay whole again.

Some of the volunteers are from neighborhoods like Gerritsen Beach that were also hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

"Our beach, and they basically saved it, so I holed up with them and I've been giving back ever since," said Jim Ryan, a captain with Rebuilding Together NYC.

They're returning the favor, letting storm victims know that they're not alone.

"It makes me feel kind of special and know that there are people still here to help you, even though this event happened a year ago,"

"I feel so happy. I feel like we still have people outside helping us," Darby said.

They're helping them back into a home that is better protected.

"It's great to see products like tile, things that could be a little bit more resilient if there were to be any other water in the home," Muller said.

And hopefully just as, or even more, comfortable to settle into.

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