3 years after Hurricane Sandy, callers say recovery is complex and frustrating
Thousands of New Jerseyans are still displaced from their homes or otherwise struggling to recover three years after Super Storm Sandy, and this morning some of those people shared their stories.
New Jersey Organizing Project Director Amanda Devecka-Rinear and Joe Mangino called from War Memorial Park in Trenton, where Senate President Steve Sweeney spent Wednesday night with grassroots organizations and Sandy victims in memorial of all that was lost during the hurricane. Hear what they had to say about political finger-pointing amid the continued recovery by watching the clip below.
When we turned the phone over to our listeners, we heard firsthand the complexities of the restoration process.
Angela, a caller from Mystic Islands, said hearing people complain about Governor Christie not doing enough to help New Jersey recover infuriates her. She and her husband lost their house during the storm, but according to her, they had "done the right thing" and paid for flood insurance. "People who don't have flood insurance, I don't even want to talk to them." Ultimately, she said, there's a point at which you have to take things into your own hands instead of waiting for a handout from the government or someone else.
Several builders joined in to express their own struggle between helping people and making a living. George from Somerville said he worked on a house and never got paid because a family lied to him, so it's not always right to blame contractors for the lack of progress.
A few people called to say they rebuilt their homes, and then were told they had to raise them to avoid future flood damage. Meg in Stanhope, for example, said this would cost her upwards of $100,000.
Then Peter from Woodland brought up how he felt it's unfair that resources were used to help people rebuild their second and third homes, while many families couldn't get their insurance companies to cover their primary residences.
"I think the assumption is that we're all sipping martinis on our balconies," said Mary, whose second home was down the shore. She disagreed with Peter's statement and said it was unfair that she was denied the insurance they paid for. She also pointed out that a tenant was living in the second house, so the storm didn't just affect her family.