The Summer After the Storm

By PETER APPLEBOME

NY Times - Published: August 30, 2013

Johanna Sofield runs a small local charity, Long Beach Christmas Angel, set up to help financially struggling families in the school district. She said she had been inundated with requests to help pay for contracting, plumbing, furniture and electrical work. Money that in the past sent children to summer camp went this summer to their parents’ mortgages and carpenters.

“The number one word is stress,” she said. “Everything’s stressful. We’re trying to manage what was sort of thrust on us, and it’s not a happy experience. You would have thought the lessons learned from Katrina would be tweaked for an area like New York, but they weren’t. I’m so profoundly disappointed in the process and how long it’s taken for people to get help.”