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RECOVERY: Moving On After Sandy

Even after the worst storm of their lives, people are coming back to the beaches and the communities that serve them

The dunes may be 12 feet high, but they don't stop people from going to the water.

The surf may be rough and cold, but that only entices the surfers who like it when nobody's around.

The boardwalks may be gone - or they may have dips and curves, and broken planks pushed to the side - but the people who love the beach still walk on it.

It was the worst storm of their lives, one that changed everything they remember about the Jersey Shore. But people are already coming back to visit and rebuild the beaches, and shop at the nearby stores.

In Toms River, signs proclaim: WE ARE OPEN. Clean-up that started weeks ago continues as merchants put up holiday decorations. Distribution sites remain stocked and eager to help those in need at Bellcrest Plaza.

This is a photo essay of what's happening in Point Pleasant Beach and Toms River, and what's happening to those people.

Frank Ross November 22, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Fema is a big Fraud.
Frank Ross November 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM
THERE NEEDS TO BE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT. FEMA PRINTS FRAUD ABOUT COVERAGE AND DOESNT FOLLOW THROUGH. LAST TIME I LOOKED, WHEN YOU PRINT SOMETHING THAT YOUR GONNA DO , YOUR LIABLE.
Lee November 22, 2012 at 12:38 PM
FEMA has been doing a wonderful job from our vantage point....what are your issues?
Lauren November 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM
A big thank you to each and every person involved in the cleanup!
Pogo November 22, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I had only moderate damage to my house but have flood and homeowners insurance. A FEMA rep came through my neighborhood trying to get everyone to sign up for assistance. I told him thanks but to please help to those who really need it. This reminds me of the government recruiting program for food stamps and welfare and seems to be a willful waste of the taxpayers money. P. S. My ten year old car was not insured for flood and was a total loss. That's my fault and it serves me right.
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Frank so dont file a claim my guess it would work better if you tried using a pen let me remind you Mittens said fema is immoral funny I know ppl who said fema is great you wanna see fraud look at Mittens the flip flopper
outofthebeach4now November 22, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Hey Frank, if you had enough of a brain to use a computer and accurately were able to file a claim, they do respond with directions and assistance. Thank you FEMA!!!!
steve November 22, 2012 at 03:37 PM
REALLY? WHAT IS NOT FRAUD TODAY? JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IS FRAUD TODAY. DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS?
Missing Brick November 22, 2012 at 07:08 PM
FEMA came to my home and assessed damage...however that's the last I heard from them. If they really want to help me, give me legal representation against my flood insurance company who has not even sent an assessor yet and was completely antagonistic on the phone. As if we WANTED our homes to be flooded just to collect on the insurance? What we really need is government assistance on making the insurers who we have paid for years (and I have never registered a claim before in my life) actually live up to their obligations. Those who didn't have insurance will never get enough money from FEMA to rebuild a house from what I understand...but maybe that would be expecting too much...how about they help in ways they can? Like leaning on insurers, utility companies, funding town cleanup so that I don't have to walk and drive through broken glass, whirling plaster dust that is as thick as snow and inhale who-knows-what toxic spills (fuel, oil, etc.) I'll pay to fix my home, even what the insurer doesn't cover, but it would be nice not to get sick in the process...why isn't FEMA looking at this?
foggyworld November 22, 2012 at 07:17 PM
The fema inspector did our house in five minutes and wouldn't write down half of what I pointed out. They are all outside contractors who obviously are getting paid by how many shoddy visits they make in a day. Yes, a class action suit. As with too many civil "servants," we are bothering them.
foggyworld November 22, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Yes, thank you to all the residents and businesses and their families and some hired hellp on Good Luck Point in Bayville for doing what the town, county and State and FEMA won't. We are cleaning up the mess ourselves with dumpsters we have rented. We can't afford all that we need so we are trying to make neat piles so that maybe someday someone will help us. Church group volunteers would be welcomed wildly out here because none have shown up and the Red Cross just sends us emails asking for money but hasn't been here either. We have had two visitors who cared: the President of the Berkeley Town Council, Jim Byrnes, who lost his own home and our wonderful mailman, Ed who helps anybody with anything and none of it is on his job description! This is one mismanaged mess and now that our house alone has electricity because we built to North Carolina and Florida coastal building specs, I am able to finally see on tv all the wonderful things being done elsewhere. I am begging on behalf of our neighbors - not for us - that people step up to the plate because honestly we cannot do it all alone. The town is giving us our regular once a week one or two can pick up - end of story. And I just read they are going to borrow money to do all the clean up. Please speak to those of us on Good Luck Point before you go borrowing money you most likely won't have to spend. It's too late now because we have done the worst of it.
foggyworld November 22, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I lost my car and have no way to get to food banks to just have coffee and snacks for those who live here and are doing the work. Understand, they have all been displaced but things could be dropped of at our house if anyone cared.
foggyworld November 22, 2012 at 07:32 PM
You must be living in Kentucky.
foggyworld November 22, 2012 at 07:36 PM
And because the premiums for FEMA were transferred last year mainly to Homeland Security (see federal FEMA Director's remarks) there is no money for us. It was sent to build up SWAT Teams instead. And I cannot find a single brochure on the internet that FEMA printed in all of 2012. I asked the hired by them adjustor for papers and booklets and received on tiny one printed up in 2009. Get the picture?
Missing Brick November 22, 2012 at 08:54 PM
the first few days water was dropped off at my house, but not by Fema. By Anhauser Bush actually, in familiar style cans...but white. After that, a local restaurant did come a few days later with some bagels and snacks. That's the last we saw of anyone...except looters, who visited along with scrappers, who were glad to take my ruined chairs off my garbage pile and make a mess. My FEMA guy took about 10 minutes, he told me not to expect too much because things like ruined floors and ceilings/roof/garage all are outside their scope. He was honest at least. My complaint is, now that the bills area already rolling in (16k roof, 40k in other misc contractors) why is it that the flood insurance I dutifully paid for, says they are "too busy" to even come and tell me what they think is covered. In the end, if I spend 100k or more restoring my house and then they deny much of the claim...where does that leave me? Really then, FEMA, keep your 2k and just give me representation against the villains who take your money and never want to pay out when it comes time. On a happier note, my car was saved with about 4k of work and my insurance company covered all above my $500 deductible. Since it is my first claim, they say I may not even see an increase at renewal. Isn't that supposed to be how ins. works??? Give a hurricane victim a break after all!
Barbara November 23, 2012 at 12:09 AM
I guess we should have known what was ahead because of Katrina. FEMA wasn't much of a help there. Still houses there that are damaged. Oh yeah, they did provide those trailers with the toxic material in them!!!
foggyworld November 23, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Well this was the most astonishing Thanksgiving yet. I am grateful for being alive but it was tough eating a piece of salmon with no vegetables never mind the 8 choices of pies at the White House. Mismanagement is too nice a word for what is going on and yesterday or the day before under the Volunteer section I asked for help for Good Luck Point in Bayville. I got one response pointing me to a church who I emailed but received no response. The scavengers are here and honestly this was the loneliest day of my life - other than the day my first husband died. To feel so unwanted and to be so left out is beyond painful and I hadn't planned on that happening. What is wrong with our communities and very expensive governments and what in God's name can we do to change things?
Opinionated November 23, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I'm sorry folks but I'm not familiar with FEMA. I see there is some unhappiness from the posts. I have also not read nor heard any such complaints from the national media this time. They only seemed concerned when Bush was president. Now that we have Obama in office, I guess they are doing a perfect job as is the rest of the govt. Hmmmm.
frank rizzo November 23, 2012 at 04:09 AM
gee i wondered how long it would take for opinionated to turn it into an anti obama sean hannity hour.? listen your guy lost the election get over it already. fema in the first week put $200 million into this area as well as staten island and housed 38,000 people just in the first week . they arent here to hire lawyers for you or pick you up a latte from starbucks or pay you full price for a 14 yr old truck you thought would float. foggyworld what kind of dinner was bush eating after katrina? here obama had fema and the red cross in place before the storm. in new orleans 3 weeks after the storm people were tying family members to stop signs so they could reclaim the bodies later. this storm was bigger than katrina and 3 times the size of irene . the damage is vast and they are doing the best they can. its truly pathetic when those like opinionated use the misery of new jersey residents to get on their "we dont like obama" soapbox. its old already and does nothing to help these people. i volunteered to help. too bad opinionated only volunteers their time to be on the patch making useless political comments.
frank rizzo November 23, 2012 at 04:11 AM
the fema rep was at the last lacey town meeting giving out info that can be seen on ch 21.
localh November 23, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I cant imagine any of these homes really being habitable or even having much value with all the mold inside that will never go away. What is fema doing about this?
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Real Estate April 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM
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Martin April 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM
http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2013/04/sandy_mold_guidelines.html#incart_river Courtesy of a StopFemaNow member. Come to the Berkeley public meeting on April 25th in Bayville. Get info at ==> StopFemaNow.com

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