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Union Beach storm victims head home [AUDIO]

The rebuilding is done, and so is the wait, for a couple of Union Beach families who can finally move into their new homes, nearly 20 months since Superstorm Sandy made landfall in New Jersey.

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Robert and Mary Ann Shane of Union Beach
Robert and Mary Ann Shane of Union Beach can move into their new modular home this week, nearly 20 months since Superstorm Sandy made landfall. (Townsquare Media)

This week, the Shane and Hoffman families become the first two of at least 12 to fully benefit from a project known as Rebuilding Union Beach. Through generous contributions from Robin Hood and the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, up to 15 modular homes are being built. They’re eco-friendly, storm-resistant, and lifted beyond FEMA regulations.

“I love it. It’s beautiful,” said Mary Ann Shane, staring at her new three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on Herbert Street.

Just as it was before the October 2012 storm, Mary Ann will be sharing the home with her husband, son, daughter-in-law and 5-year-old grandchild. They had been renting an apartment for the past several months.

A couple blocks away, the Hoffman family should be back by the end of June on the same property they purchased in 1992.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Robert Hoffman, father of two college-aged children. “It’s better than a 5-year-old on Christmas Day.”

He and his wife were living in a garage since the storm hit.

The superstorm severely flooded more than 85 percent of the homes in Union Beach. To date, 272 homes have been demolished.

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