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Family members in burned-out neighborhood hard to reach after Sandy

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Oct 30 2012 06:52:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2012 10:33:56 PM CDT
NEW BERN -

The Frankenstorm wrecked havoc on the Northeast, causing widespread power outages, flooding and fires.

Volunteer firefighter Sue Piller, a New York native who now lives in New Bern, said she has been trying to get in touch with her loved ones in New York, but phone lines are jammed.

"A lot of their phones are down," she said.

Some of her family and friends are without homes because of the storm.

"It's kind of unbelievable, and it's devastating. People have lost everything. There's nothing left," she said.

A massive fire broke out in the Breezy Point neighborhood in Queens Monday, burning down more than 80 houses before firefighters could get the blaze under control.  Sue's family and friends have homes in that community.

"I was so frantic this morning when I was coming out of the garage.  I forgot to close the gate and my Australian Shepherd took off after me. I was just so mixed up and worried and then I couldn't a hold of anyone," she said.

However, her daughter, Katie, who braved the storm in Stamford, Connecticut, has been keeping her updated on what's going on.  We asked her how it felt knowing that some of her family and friends have been so greatly affected by this storm.  "It's pretty scary you know, because a lot of people don't know exactly how bad it is yet. A lot of my friends can't even get home because all the parkways are closed off, the bridges and tunnels."

After our interview, Sue was able to get in touch with her cousin, Denise, via Facebook. Denise's home in Breezy Point was not affected in the blaze. However, it is unclear if there is flood damage at this time.