It has been a year since Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the New Jersey shore. For residents of the hardest-hit shore communities, that year has been a hard struggle — and the outcome has been mixed.
NJ.com carries this Associated Press report: ("Thousands still without normalcy a year after Sandy," The Associated Press). "For families in Union Beach, a blue-collar enclave clinging precariously to the Raritan Bay, full recovery from Superstorm Sandy is still elusive nearly a year after the storm pummeled the state Oct. 29," the story says. "That's also true for thousands of others at the Jersey shore; in Ocean County alone, the county planning board estimated 26,000 people were unable to return to their homes as of last month."
The Philadelphia Inquirer focuses on Brigantine, a New Jersey shore town close to Sandy's landfall bullseye: ("In Brigantine, Sandy recovery at a standstill for some," by Amy S. Rosenberg. One couple, Laurel and Bill Haeser, recently received a letter telling them that they qualified for assistance, but that the program that would help them was temporarily out of funds. The instructions: Do nothing and wait.
Reports the Inquirer: "For the Haesers and so many others stalled at different stops along an excruciatingly local train to recovery, the stress, uncertainty, bureaucratic frustration, and blizzard of repetitive paperwork have only deepened the hold Sandy took over their lives nearly one year ago, two days before Halloween."
One problem for many homeowners is the gap between the cost of repair and the money paid out by their insurance coverage. The Huffington Post carries this Associated Press report: ("Insurance Falls Short For Some Sandy Victims," by David B. Caruso). "Many homeowners who got slammed by Superstorm Sandy are finding their flood insurance checks are nowhere near large enough to cover their repairs, and consumer advocates put some of the blame on errors by the multitude of adjusters who were hired in a hurry after the disaster," the report says. "They say policyholders are being shortchanged—sometimes by tens of thousands of dollars—because of adjusters' inexperience and their overreliance on computer programs, rather than construction know-how, to estimate rebuilding costs."
They may not be all the way back yet, but Jersey Shore residents aren't going to leave quietly. On October 29th, the one-year anniversary of the storm's landfall, locals plan to mark the occasion with candle-light and flashlight gatherings along the shore. The Star-Ledger has this report: ("To mark grim Hurricane Sandy anniversary, groups plan to light up the shore," by Erin O'Neill).
"The groups' 'Light Up New Jersey' effort will be held in a dozen locations, including: Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Bradley Beach, Brigantine, Keansburg, Seaside Heights and South Amboy," the Star-Ledger reports. Gigi Liaguno-Dorr, who owns Jakeabob's Bay, a Union Beach restaurant destroyed by the storm, said the point is to tell the world "we're here to fight. That everybody is still fighting and that we are supporting one another."