Hurricane Sandy’s homeless are still feeling the pain six months after the super storm ravaged the East Coast, namely in New York and New Jersey.
Tens of thousands of people are still homeless as they deal with a slow and frustrating recovery from the storm that flooded parts of the subway system and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Housing, business, tourism, and coastal protection also remain major problems as summer vacation —and hurricane season — approaches. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo stated on Thursday:
“Some families and some lives have come back together quickly and well, and some people are up and running almost as if nothing ever happened, and for them it’s been fine.”
However, Cuomo added, “Some people are still very much in the midst of recovery. You still have people in hotel rooms, you still have people doubled up, you still have people fighting with insurance companies, and for them it’s been terrible and horrendous.”
Signs of Hurricane Sandy still remain along the coast including in hardest hit areas like the Jersey Shore. The roller coaster that plunged off a pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey is still in the ocean where it finally came to rest. And scores of homes that were destroyed in Mantoloking still look the same as they did when their owners’ came home to survey the damage.
And many businesses affected by the storm have not reopened, while an already tight rental market has grown even tighter. But, despite the tens of thousands of homeless from Sandy, the region is springing back to life. Some homes have been demolished and a few have already been reconstructed. The post office in Mantoloking also reopened recently, while the first of 50 demolitions are scheduled to start next week.
Volunteers in Highlands, New Jersey are also working to rebuild the home of Bromlyn Link, a single mother of a 17-year-old boy. The pair helped as part of the town’s first aid squad, which spent 12 to 14 hours per day helping friends and neighbors forced to live in shelters for weeks after the devastating storm hit.
There is no telling how long it will take for Hurricane Sandy’s homeless to return home, but some have taken words by other hurricane survivors to heart. It will take time, but the key is to remain hopeful that recovery will happen and they will get to go home.
[Images via Wikimedia Commons]