3 Years After Hurricane Sandy, One Survivor Has Finally Found Closure

By Cleve Bryan

TUCKERTON, NJ (CBS) — Three years ago Hurricane Sandy cut a path of destruction along the Jersey shore that lingers even to this day.

But, today, one Sandy survivor found closure that has eluded her ever since the day Sandy destroyed her home back in 2012.

“Everything was covered with mold, mildew, and a stench that I can still remember the smell.”

Sandy survivor Jeanne DeMarsico says the only thing worse than losing her home was rebuilding.

“I immediately got my claims adjuster here and I thought this is all going to be just fine. Wrong. And that’s when the nightmare truly began,” she said.

Months turned to years of fighting for insurance money and government grants.

“The government on all levels failed, really failed us,” she said.

Finally she got help form a Christian non-profit called A Future With Hope, which has helped hundreds of Sandy survivors through several community partnerships and an army of volunteers.

“People have not recovered and that’s the message that really everybody needs to hear and we need help,” said construction director Lou Strugala.

At the welcome home celebration for DeMarsico today, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs spoke of success getting some money to almost all 8,000 people in the rebuild program known as RREM, but only a quarter are done construction.

(Reporter:) “When people described the rebuild as a nightmare, a lot of that anger is directed at your agency, what do you say to that?”

“People got hit hard by Sandy and we certainly understand that,” said David Reiner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Deputy Commissioner David Reiner says the RREM process went through growing pains but has become more effective over the last three years.

“As you can see, this is a war zone still from the storm,” said DeMarsico.

Out her window, DeMarsico still sees several neighbors still not home. She encourages them not to give up.

“I just thank the Lord every single day for this beautiful, beautiful home,” she said.

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