Community Board 6’s district manager said he has spent a year and thousands of dollars repairing his home after Hurricane Sandy cut a destructive path through Queens.
Frank Gulluscio, who acts as district manager for the Forest Hills-based community board, said the October 2012 storm caused significant damage to his Howard Beach home.
“My house was damaged by water and my brand new car was on fire in my driveway,” he said. “The water came in so fast, I didn’t know what to do. The ceilings and floors were covered with water. We lost 40 years of memories, from pictures to all my kids’ stuff.”
Gulluscio said he has paid close to $100,000 to fix the damages to his home, which is currently about 99 percent rebuilt.
“We fixed everything from the hot water heater to the furnace,” he said. “It’s taken me about a year. My dog is still traumatized and won’t go into the basement.”
When Sandy hit the five boroughs, Gulluscio was awakened in the middle of the night.
“The FDNY rang my doorbell and I opened it and saw they were in a boat,” he said. “They told me the second tide was coming in and I had to leave.”
took his wife and dog and stayed with relatives for nearly two months after the storm. He said he did not have hot water in his home for two months.
“We literally had to rebuild the house down to the foundation and change our electrical service,” he said. “Every single pipe hit by seawater deteriorated immediately and every window had to be changed.”
he still has to fix a part of the roof and trim around the house. Otherwise,
his home is nearly back to normal.
“The salt water ate up the grass and shrubbery outside the house,” he said. “Nothing would grow this past spring and summer. And last winter, we didn’t have a lot of snow to dissipate the salt, which is still in the ground.”
Regardless, Gulluscio said he was thankful that the damage to his home was not as bad as a number of other Queens residents, especially those in the Rockaways, who lost everything.
But he is concerned about what the storm’s aftermath could mean for the future.
“Right now, I pay $500 per year for flood insurance,” he said. “But that, I’m told, could go up to $10,000. People won’t be able to afford to move into the neighborhood.”