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Lance Cpl. Phillip Clonch, a combat engineer with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group cuts a deck into smaller pieces using a chainsaw in Breezy Point, N.Y., Nov. 6. The Marines were moving debris in the neighborhood in support of humanitarian operations with the Federal Emergency Management Agency after Hurricane Sandy.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting

Marines with chainsaws clear the way at Breezy Point, N.Y.

8 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott Whiting

The Marines from 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, who are in New York to support humanitarian operations with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, came equipped with chainsaws, crowbars, sledgehammers and other tools to remove any obstacles they came across during the cleanup in public spaces.

Residents of the small, coastal town thanked Marines throughout the day for the work they were doing.

“I’m very grateful for what these Marines are doing for us,” said an inhabitant of Breezy Point who wished to remain unnamed. “Many older people live here, and we couldn’t do a lot of this work on our own. It’s nice to get help from other people.”

The team was happy to have the opportunity to help those in need.

“We’re clearing out alleyways between the houses as much as we can,” said Cpl. Mark Baugh, a radio operator with 8th ESB. “It feels great to be helping out. It’s not everyday you get to do things like this and help people out.”

The Marines moved a very noticeable amount of debris and other items from in between the houses.

A large deck from one of the houses was destroyed after the storm tore through the coast, causing it to lie across the walkway, impeding foot traffic through the area. The group of Marines was able to utilize their chainsaws to cut the deck up and move it to a consolidated location where The City of New York Department of Sanitation can remove it.

The residents of Breezy Point were relieved to have help with the mess the hurricane left, and many said they are excited to see what else the Marines will be able to help with in the near future.

The unit also sent a small detachment to pump water out of a housing development in the Far Rockaway neighborhood.

The work of the Marines is being directed by FEMA in coordination with the Army National Guard. Everything is aimed at helping residents of the greater New York City area return to normalcy as soon as possible.

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