"I stayed throughout storm, the whole time — it was pretty hairy," Naso said. "I watched the side of a garage float by, docks float by. A dock was ripped off the back of a neighbor's house a block away. There were propane tanks going down the block."
Naso, chaiman of the Committee Advisory Committee to the Southampton Town board and a member of the Bayview Pines committee, said Flanders was one of the hardest hit on Long Island — with some homes still vacant 12 months later.
Indeed, some Flanders residents saw their homes swept away as Hurricane Sandy devastated the area.
According to Southampton Town officials, at least six homes in Flanders were totaled and condemned.
"It is tragic that some of our friends and neighbors have lost their homes," Brad Bender, then-president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Civic Association, said at the time. "Pine Avenue, in the Bayview Pines area, was hard hit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these families and all families and residents throughout our community and the entire area hard hit by Sandy during this difficult time."
Other Flanders residents rejoiced last year after days without power, as the lights came back after three days.
"Power was restored to Flanders at aproximately 9:20 p.m.," resident Wendy Camberlange wrote to Patch. "After 72 hours, LIPA was able to restore power to more than 500 residents living in the Waters Edge and Bay View Pines beach community located in the town of Southampton."
And the restoration of power brought widespread celebration: "Residents devastated by the wrath of Hurricane Sandy celebrated, taking to the streets. Cheering could be heard throughout this beach community as the power returned block by block. Residents expressed their gratitude to the LIPA crews as they passed by on their way to the next community in need of their assistance."
But one year later, some residents have still not seen relief.
"Pine Avenue, was one, if not the most, damaged block in the Flanders area," Naso, who lives on the block, said Monday. "The morning after Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst and Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone were in in front of my home assessing all the damages on Pine."
To date, there are four homes still unoccupied while waiting for adjustments from either FEMA or the National Flood Insurance Program, Naso said.
According to Naso, some residents have hit a wall while trying to receive help from the states NY Rising Recovery Program, a statewide initiative to help flood-devastated communities rebuild. Although NY Rising is sponsoring a buyout and a house-raising program, according to Naso, "There seems to be a Catch 22 associated with each."
Residents who already have taken out federal loans to help rebuild are not able to full help from the state program, Naso said.
"Currently, three homes continue to repair, either with their own money or with settlement money one year later."
On Oct. 1, Naso said, flood insurance rates went up. "To me, this is unacceptable — raising flood policy rates while people are still in recovery mode, whether it be structurally or emotionally," Naso said.
Although the town sponsored, with Naso's assistance, a number of meetings with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives at the David W. Crohan Center after Sandy, Naso said, to this day, "some people are still arguing with FEMA; they're spinning their wheels."
Some neighbors, Naso said, are forced to pay back rent monies they received once they receive their FEMA settlement — and have still had to pay mortgages on homes that were too damaged to be occupied.
"There are a lot of twists and turns. It's sad that the federal government hasn't really stepped up to the plate, or, for that matter, townships. If they had known we were going to be hit with such astronomical flood insurance rates, it would have been nice if the town had kicked in and given a slight reduction in taxes to compensate for all that extra money."
Although his own home was not damaged, Naso said he surveys the damage across the street every day.
During the storm, his aunt's shed blewout of her yard and leaned up against the telephone pole. Today, the shed is gone, but the homes remain vacant, and the porch, he said, is "twisted."