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2013 IN REVIEW: New Jersey Continues To Recover From Hurricane Sandy

Hank Bechler stands outside his condemned home. He is living in a trailer while he fights for a higher payout from his insurer. (Credit: David Madden)

Hank Bechler stands outside his condemned home. He is living in a trailer while he fights for a higher payout from his insurer. (Credit: David Madden)

David Madden David Madden
David Madden is a Philadelphia native with virtually a lifetime of...
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By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the calendar gets ready to turn to 2014, New Jersey continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Few probably realized at the time how prophetic Governor Chris Christie was.

“This is going to be long,” Christie said. “It’s going to be expensive and it’s going to be hard. And it’s going to be frustrating at times.”

Frustrating at first, as Congress dragged its feet on adequately funding the recovery. Then there was the government regulation to deal with. The reluctance of more than a few insurance carriers to quickly pay up on homeowner and business claims. Some questioned using millions in recovery money to fund the “Stronger Than the Storm” ad campaign for shore tourism.

That little ditty even annoyed Christie by Labor Day — it played so often. And a mid-September boardwalk fire in Seaside Heights set shore recovery back a tad. As for homeowners, many are like George Douchette.

“It’s at a standstill right now,” Douchette said. “There’s too many ifs, ands and buts from the local people and FEMA.”

And thousands are still out of their homes.

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