By Cleve Bryan
LITTLE EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) — Built high where flood waters will hopefully never ruin it again, Sheila Lipton’s home is finally complete almost 18 months after Sandy.
“We actually got to cook a meal Easter Sunday. It was wonderful, we didn’t have furniture or anything but it was okay, it was great.”
The long road home took a toll on Sheila and her husband Tom, who had to work every hour he could to pay his mortgage and rental home. But even being home doesn’t quite make life normal again.
Tom says, “No I don’t know what back to normal is, there’s just so much work here.”
A Rutgers- Eagleton poll finds that two-thirds of New Jerseyans do not believe life is back to normal 18 months after Sandy and more than 90 percent of those people aren’t optimistic things will be normal in another year.
Dustin Gryzbowski, a carpenter, says, “On just one street that we’re standing on there’s only three houses that are being lived in and there are 10 empty, so work is non-stop.”
New Jersey is still waiting for approval for distributing a second $1.5 billion of Sandy relief, but there is concern the US department of Housing says some of the $16 billion allotted for disaster relief after Sandy can go to other parts of the country.
Governor Christie and members of Congress oppose that idea and are worried less money could make Sandy recovery take even longer.