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Hundreds of NY homes to be razed

19 November 2012, 09:47

New York - Hundreds of homes judged safety hazards after Superstorm Sandy are going to be razed in New York City, a vast operation deemed "unprecedented" by the mayor's office.

About 200 houses in the New York boroughs of Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island that were hardest hit by last month's mammoth confluence of a hurricane and a seasonal "nor'easter" storm are to be demolished in the coming months.

That's on top of the 200 or so that were already to be bulldozed after being completely or partially destroyed by wind, water or by storm-sparked fire.

New York City's buildings department must still issue a ruling on another 500 damaged structures, some of which could also meet the same fate, its director Robert LiMandri told the media.

"We've never had this scale before," LiMandri said on Sunday.

"This is what New Yorkers have read about in many other places and have never seen...so it's definitely unprecedented."

A decision on how to rebuild these devastated neighbourhoods has become another subject of intense debate.

Most of the houses that will be torn down are modest single- or two-family homes which in some instance have been passed down from generation to generation.

Some are in poor condition and would not pass current building codes.

Moreover, many families fled ahead of the storm and authorities have had trouble locating them to discuss plans for their battered homes.



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