WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (CBS) — Four years ago, Superstorm Sandy hammered New Jersey’s shoreline, among other places along the mid-Atlantic coast.
A poll that has followed Sandy victims in the Garden State issued a report card of sorts on how recovery efforts have proceeded.
The Christie Administration is pushing a message that New Jersey is stronger and people are coming back. Officials point to better infrastructure to prepare for the next storm that might hit, as well as more than 1.6 billion dollars in relief given to those who lost housing and more to help victims get back on their feet.
But the Monmouth University poll of several hundred people directly affected by Sandy suggests those perceptions are, perhaps, a little too rosy.
Researcher Timothy Tracey has worked on the project from the beginning.
“A majority of people who participated in this year’s Sandy Recovery survey remain dissatisfied,” Tracey told KYW Newsradio. “So 54% are dissatisfied with the state’s recovery effort compared to just 46% who are satisfied.”
It comes down, pretty much, to where people are in the recovery chain. Most are back in their homes now, although 15% say they’ve been permanently displaced and another 15% are still waiting to return to their residences.
“Satisfaction has been inching upward over the last several years,” Tracey added. “We’ve noticed it’s up somewhat from last year, when it was up at 40% and more noticeably from both 2014 and 2013 when there when there was around just a third of these people who were satisfied with the state’s recovery effort”
But there’s been significant progress achieved in the state’s Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Elevation ad Mitigation Program (RREM), with 71% of victims saying that program has helped them get back where they used to live, compared to 57% in 2013.