NY Man Lives in Backyard After Sandy Destroys House, Federal Aid Expires

Chuck Burgio has been sleeping on an air mattress in his Long Island backyard

By Brynn Gingras
|  Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013  |  Updated 5:01 PM CDT
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A Long Island man is living in his backyard, 10 months after Sandy flooded him out of his home and federal aid has expired. Brynn Gingras reports.

NBC 4 New York

A Long Island man is living in his backyard, 10 months after Sandy flooded him out of his home and federal aid has expired. Brynn Gingras reports.

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UPDATE: Neighbors Aid Sandy Victim Living in Backyard

A Long Island man whose house was flooded out by Sandy 10 months ago is living in his backyard, on an air mattress among mosquitoes, now that his federal aid has expired.

Chuck Burgio's backyard in Lindenhurst, N.Y., is outfitted with a makeshift bed, gym equipment and a patio table. It's home for now, since his actual house is gutted -- there's no floor, just standing 2-by-4s and exposed piping. 

"I've been in the backyard right here, getting bit up by mosquitoes and gnats," he said. 

Sandy dumped 4 feet of water in the area and devastated much of the neighborhood. While Burgio's neighbors have rebuilt, he's been left in the cold.

"Where am I going to go? I have no money," he said. 

Up until a week ago, Burgio was living in local motels, but then federal aid ran out. So now Burgio says he's making the best of the situation, accepting food from charities, going to the bathroom at a nearby diner and letting neighbors lend a helping hand. 

John Warry, one neighbor, said he was worried for Burgio when it rained Monday morning.

"We tried to wake him, and we weren't sure if he was alive," he said. "He's not moving, we're getting worried. We can't have that." 

But things seem to looking up. NBC 4 New York was there Monday evening when a good Samaritan dropped by with a gift. 

"He just came here and put $500 in my hand and told me he's going to do this whole house for nothing," said Burgio. "I'm going to have a heart attack." 

One nonprofit on Monday offered to put him in another hotel until his home is rebuilt. 

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