By Cleve Bryan
OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) – The emotions are overwhelming for Yolanda Boyer because the years of exile are over and her Superstorm Sandy-ravaged home is finally fixed.
“This house will always be here for my kids and my nieces and my grandson,” says Boyer inside her Haven Avenue home in Ocean City on Friday.
Three Ocean City Sandy victims enjoyed homecoming celebrations with volunteers and staff from the Cape May County Long-term Recovery Group, Catholic Charities Disaster Program and United Methodist Church’s A Future With Hope program.
“You’ve given us the privilege of getting to share our faith, and our love of God with you,” said Rev Lou Strugala, construction director and spiritual advisor of A Future With Hope, to the victims.
Kenny Thompson’s living room had water up to his chest during Sandy, and he eventually became homeless.
“At night I’d ride back and forth on buses to Atlantic City to pass the time,” says Thompson.
From the outside many homes damaged by Sandy look okay but the inside can have severe rot to floors and walls.
Victims finally realize they can’t live in those conditions for health reasons.
“Now a lot more cases are being uncovered where there is mold damage, water damage that wasn’t seen right after the storm,” says Rohan
Allen, the case manager with Catholic Charities who worked with each of the Ocean City victims.
Gloria Legette tried to live in her Sandy-damaged home for more than a year but got severely ill from the mold.
Now thanks to hundreds of volunteers almost every inch of her downstairs is new.
“Oh I love it here, I thank the Lord every day,” says Legette.
The good news is there are still ways to get help, and victims should reach out to their county’s long-term recovery group.