Monday, September 22, 2014

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John Legend Visits As Sandy Cleanup Continues In Rockaways

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Volunteers helping out in Far Rockaway received some star-studded support Saturday as singer and songwriter John Legend spent time chatting with volunteers as they passed out food and winter coats and toured local businesses to see the damage for himself. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.

Singer John Legend, who's known for giving back to the community, made a brief visit to Far Rockaway Saturday, where he viewed the devastation and spoke to residents still suffering nearly two weeks after Sandy hit.

"These are my neighbors who are going through this tragedy and loss of property and sometimes loss of life," Legend said. "It's kind of overwhelming, seeing how much people will have to rebuild after this."

The Grammy Award-winning singer said he went without power for about four days but knows that's nothing compared to what some of his fans are still going through.

"There's not much I can tell them to encourage them, other than help is on the way," Legend said. "And we have to make sure we mobilize everyone in the community to help out."

Community activist Erica Ford said the help has to be physical, emotional and spiritual.

"To me, that is the biggest thing today, giving people a sense of hope, giving people a sense of purpose and allowing them to understand that they're the valuable asset in all of this and that there's hope on the other side of this tragedy that happened here," Ford said.

Nearly two weeks after Sandy hit Rockaway Beach, many were cleaning up, getting rid of all of the mud and debris in their homes. Others, though, have decided to clear out altogether.

"It's scary down here," said Lora Boykins, a Rockaways resident. "It's real scary. I don't know. I mean, I wouldn't feel comfortable living here anymore anyway, like, so close to the water."

So, for some who love this beach community, it was time to move mattresses and other belongings and look for a new place to live.

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