As the Jersey Shore continues its recovery, more than a year after Sandy, much of the attention is on popular tourist destinations like Seaside Heights.
But as noted in a recent NJ Spotlight list, residents in many less well-known coastal towns also continue to struggle.
In the Mystic Island section of Little Egg Harbor, for instance, Lois Santaguida’s summer home remains gutted and uninhabitable. She’s weighing whether to elevate it or knock it down and start from scratch with a modular home, but either way, the numbers are coming up short. So things are at a standstill until she can figure out how she’ll afford to complete repairs. Even if she were to somehow come up with the money tomorrow, there’s such a long waiting list for contractors to elevate homes that everyone she’s spoken to has told her they’re already booked up through next summer.
Further north in Brick Township’s Camp Osborn, all that remains is an empty, three acre lot after a fire started during Sandy burned close to a hundred bungalows to the ground. Resident Betty Ann Fuller says little progress has been made, but she hopes rebuilding will start soon so she and her neighbors won’t have to spend another entire summer displaced and staring at nothing.
And along the Raritan Bay, Erin Bernstein says the Port Monmouth section of Middletown has largely been forgotten due to its small size and the fact that many people simply don’t know where it is on a map. Dozens of homes remain vacant, and even residents who’ve recently gotten enough money to rebuild will now need to wait until the spring, when it will be warm enough to pour concrete.
Listen to a story Sandy Recovery Reporter Scott Gurian produced for our partner WNYC: