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Life After Sandy: 6 Months Later

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By Jenn Bernstein

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (CBS) – Birdie Cody lived in her Atlantic City home for 50 years, until Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline and ravaged it.

“It’s been a nightmare; it’s very devastating,” said Cody, “Two and a half, three feet is what they measured of water in the house, so everything was gone.”

Cody has flood insurance, but for the last six months, she has weaved her way through a complicated process of applying to receive relief dollars from her insurance company.

Currently, she’s waiting on a check for $19,000 so she can begin repairing her walls and hardwood floors.

While she waits, Cody resides in a furnished apartment.

All the while she never missed a day of work in the Department of Family and Community Development for Atlantic County.

It’s here that she services others going through the same thing.

“Where I used to hear people come in [and] they were homeless,” explained Cody, “now I can feel what it’s like to be homeless.”

Atlantic County has made strides since Sandy hit six months ago. Businesses are back up and ready for the tourist season.

In Atlantic City, the casinos are beckoning visitors to their doors on the boardwalk.

Still, the recovery is ongoing.

Linda Gilmore, the spokeswoman for Atlantic County, says the best thing people can do to assist shoreline communities is take a trip to the shore.

“Help our economy, come back, visit,” said Gilmore. “Return to the shore and rekindle memories, and make new memories.”

If you have not yet registered with FEMA and are seeking Sandy assistance, you have until May 1st at midnight to do so.

And if you’re looking for help to physically rebuild your home, you are encouraged to call 211.

For more information head, visit: www.disasterassistance.gov

For information on Superstorm Sandy assistance, visit www.sandyhelp.nj.gov or call 1-855-SANDYHM (1-855-726-3946) for housing assistance or 1-855-SANDYBZ (1-855-726-3929) for business assistance.

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