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Displaced Sandy Victims’ Nightmare Continues [AUDIO]

In a few days, many New Jersey families will mark the unofficial start of summer — the long Memorial Day weekend — by heading down the shore for some R&R. Meanwhile, thousands of Jersey Shore residents remain displaced by Superstorm Sandy, still working to repair damage that occurred more than a year and a half ago.

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Damage From Hurricane Sandy
Mark Wilson, Getty Images

David Gross and his family continue to live in a rental home, as they fight with their insurance company to pay for repairs to their Lavallette home.

“It’s been a nightmare, you couldn’t possibly imagine,” Gross said while standing outside the Statehouse in Trenton on Tuesday. “I feel almost like we are just getting started. The storm lasted 24 hours; my insurance claim has lasted 19 months. As far as emotion goes, it’s very hard.”

Gross said he works seven days a week, but trying to handle insurance claims, inspectors, adjusters, insurance companies, mortgage companies and builders is a full-time job unto itself.

He also said the system he’s fighting against is maddening.

“We are protecting the larger companies and not the individuals,” Gross said. “I think that we need to hold the larger companies accountable in a faster timeframe. I can’t go back to my house without getting sick, seeing all the things that are still damaged and destroyed that haven’t even been thrown out yet. You just have to walk away and put it out of your mind, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to get up and go to work every day.”

Gross also said lawmakers are not doing enough to help Sandy victims who are still displaced.

“The accountability is not there,” he said. “I think it’s all just a political thing where everybody just wants to do what makes them look good, but this is not a numbers game, this is a moral and ethical issue that is not being addressed. I didn’t gamble by not taking the insurance, I took the insurance. The insurance companies gamble that we’re not going to have a storm — well, they lost. They lost and it’s time to pay up.”

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