By Anessa V. Cohen

Back in July 2013, I published an article bemoaning the “Nassau County Clean and Seed Program” that had been announced as the latest in the S.T.E.P. and Nassau Environmental Cleanup programs available to assist victims affected by Superstorm Sandy. At that time, residents of the Five Towns were calling Nassau County offices trying to sign up for the program, only to find out that the program was limited to Bay Park area residents alone–I guess we did not suffer as much as they did!

I am happy to report that Ed Mangano agreed with us and has successfully tweaked the program to include Cedarhurst and Lawrence homeowners who suffered flooding from Sandy. This program will clean exterior flat surfaces such as driveways, walkways, and patios; remove the first three inches of topsoil from affected yards and replace it with new soil; and reseed the new soil with fresh grass seed.

Best of all: these services are being offered at no cost to the homeowner! This is one of the nicest programs to be incorporated recently that benefit homeowners who were victims of the flooding in this area. Those affected need to get evaluated prior to the crews starting work on the property. Anyone who has not done so yet should e-mail or call 516-535-5730 to arrange an appointment ASAP.

The other program run by New York State, which also got off to a sluggish start but now seems to be picking up speed, is New York Rising. The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program was established to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities severely damaged by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. This program will help our community both on the community level and on the individual homeowner level.

On the community level, the state has established the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program and allocated $25 million for planning in the most affected areas of our community. The NYRCR Program will help to create a safer relationship with the waterfront in order to improve quality of life and reduce risk from extreme weather. This will set Five Towns on course to realize this vision by identifying short-, medium-, and long-term strategies that do the following:

Increase the resilience of high risk areas by providing greater protections from flooding and storm water for residential neighborhoods and commercial districts, and restoring natural resources–including parks and wetlands–to increase their capacity in absorbing flood and rainwater.

Increase emergency response capacity by creating a coordinated disaster-response plan that responds to the needs of vulnerable populations, and strengthening community-based organizations such as community centers, houses of worship, schools, and youth groups, in order to expand services and enhance recovery efforts after storms.

Improve access to and from high-risk areas by creating a stronger transportation network that elevates evacuation routes out of the flood zone and improves traffic flow, and creating a more resilient power grid that limits widespread outages and implements district energy solutions.

On an individual level, applications are being taken from homeowners affected by Sandy that are geared toward those residents who were not able to get financial assistance to rebuild and repair what they lost from insurance, FEMA, or SBA.

It is in the interest of every homeowner affected to go online and fill out an application for New York Rising, to apply for more financial assistance in rebuilding whatever one lost in Sandy. To apply for New York Rising, visit v

Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker and a licensed N.Y.S. mortgage originator with over 20 years of experience, offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and mortgaging services (First Meridian Mortgage). She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to


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