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Neighbors help one another in Rockaway Beach

Singh Tarlok (l.) hands a bowl of hot food to Arnell Franklin at a food line run by community volunteers. AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
TimesLedger Newspapers

Some residents of the Rockaways who were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and are without power and other city services have taken it upon themselves to provide for their community in the aftermath of the storm, cooking food and handing it out to people in need.

“We’re feeding whoever passes by,” said Federico Salinas, who lives near the corner of Beach 84th Street and Beach Channel Drive.

A group had gathered outside his house to barbecue chicken, hotdogs and other meats that had been thawing in people’s powerless freezers on an outdoor grill Friday, an activity Salinas said had been taking place since the storm.

Another neighbor, Matthew, who lives nearby, said he also had some family and friends bring in generators and space heaters that he was distributing to people in need.

Many of the people gathered at the house said they had not heard from city officials or aid workers about how to get help and questioned why the Red Cross appeared nowhere to be found.“I don’t see anything on this block but neighbors helping neighbors,” Matthew said.

He said the area had little security from police and he was concerned about dangers from looting or worse. He said a friend had given him agun and he had begun to patrol the neighborhood at night to protect the community.

“I go around all night with a gun on my hip,” he said.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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