Reporting Jenn Bernstein
SEASIDE PARK, N.J. (CBS)--It’s been a difficult year for John O’Keefe and his family.
His 90-year-old mother-in-law lost her home here in Seaside Park, when Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New Jersey coastline.
“The regulations have bogged us down, just trying to get things completed, permits, two steps forward three steps backward,” said O’Keefe.
Now, one year after the storm, her new home is almost complete.
“Thank god the house is up, hopefully she’ll be in soon,” said O’Keefe.
Seaside Park and Seaside Heights were among some of the most devastated communities hit by Hurricane Sandy.
Just last month, more than fifty recovering businesses in both towns were burned when a powerful fire ripped through the boardwalk.
On Hurricane Sandy’s one year marker, Governor Chris Christie made Seaside Park’s volunteer fire company, his first stop of the day.
He thanked volunteers and first responders for their efforts on this Tuesday, and said there’s been significant progress, but still a long road ahead.
“I want us all to think about how much better things look today than they did one year ago,” said Governor Christie, “but, we still have to acknowledge that there’s still thousands of people out of their homes.”
First Lady Mary Pat Christie also visited Seaside Park this morning to help volunteers paint beach chairs.
Her organization- the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund – just announced, on this organized service day, $3.1 million in grant awards are going to non-profits helping the Jersey shore rebuild.
As of the announcement, the Fund has given out $19.2 million to more than 80 organizations.