Local military team coordinating efforts in Sandy recovery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - "What are you doing for us?"

That was the question local and federal officials on Long Island were met with on Saturday, as many residents on the storm ravaged East Coast were still cleaning up and waiting for basic services.

Officials also had to endure boos and questions from people still without power in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
     
However, a Colonel and 25 others from Kansas City who are coordinating the federal military's response in New York City said most people are very receptive about the military's response.

Col. Ed Manning is just one of the nation's 10 defense coordinating officers in the middle of the storm clean up. He and his Kansas City-based team have been in New York City since November 1.
     
They are coordinating the armed forces to distribute fuel, pump water from flooded buildings, clear debris and get first responders to scenes. Manning said there is still a lot to be done, but he knows residents are grateful for 4,000 military personnel on the ground.

When a Queens neighborhood witnessed a naval landing craft pull ashore and soldiers run out to help, Colonel Manning said residents were taken back and began to cry.

"(They) landed on Breezy Point on Rockaway. The ramp came down, bulldozers, trucks and 100's of sailors and Marines came ashore, hit the ground and started helping," Col. Manning said. "In fact, one Marine battalion, pumping waters from a public housing unit, had just got back from Afghanistan and most of the soldiers had all came back from leave and said 'I want to go.' They didn't want to get left behind to help their fellow Americans."

The majority of residents on Long Island were still without power Saturday night.

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