In the year since Hurricane Sandy flooded miles of New Jersey shoreline, some homeowners have completely rebuilt their damaged houses. Some plan to, but aren't sure when or how. And some have walked away. The result: a patchwork of damage and rebuilding that has town governments worried.
The North Jersey Record has this report: ("Neglected Jersey Shore homes growing dilemma in Sandy recovery," by Karen Sudol). "Nearly a year after Superstorm Sandy destroyed entire stretches of the New Jersey coastline, towns are grappling with a new phase of recovery: how to balance the complaints of residents living next to neglected properties against the plight of homeowners who lost everything and have not decided whether to rebuild," the paper reports.
In Union Beach, code official Robert Parsells gets dozens of complaints a week about derelict houses. But the town is being patient, he told the Record. Said Parsells, "I'm having a hard time kicking people when they're down. I will not summons a person who's been through all of this devastation." Church volunteers are mowing lawns and removing debris; the borough is also using volunteers to demolish homes after FEMA money for razing houses dried up.