The following article is a reprint from Newsday's Sunday, November 4th issue:
In the Village of Lindenhurst a 15-man crew composed mainly of of workers from a home renovation firm used their expertise and muscle to clear flood-ruined homes for free.
Nearly a week after Sandy brought the region to its knees, small and not-so-small acts of kindness from neighbors and strangers helped lift it.
More than a hundred Babylon Village residents mobilized at the American Legion on Grove Place to distribute food and clothes and help neighbors clear their flooded houses yesterday.
"People are still trying to get their head around what's happened to them," said Dominic Bencivenga, 50, a writer and president of the local school board who helped organize the effort. "A group of us got together to see what we could do."
The Nesconset-based NDA Construction crew, which usually remodels kitchens, arrived early yesterday morning with reciprocating saws and elbow grease to haul out sodden insulation, furnitureand flooring from homes on Lindenhurst's Surf Street.
"We weatheted fhe storm and we're caught up on our work schedule," said NDA owner Ed Rowland, 55. "So we said, let's do something."
Some people were skeptical at first - "they already had ripoffs up and down the block," Rowland said - but by midday the crew had cleaned six houses and was working on more.
Joseph Cortese, 48, an electrician who lived with his girlfriend and 3-year-old daughter in one of the houses there until it was flooded, was one of the first to enlist their help.
"They are a godsend," he said.