Sandy recovery remains a struggle five years later

Brick Township Municipal Center CHRISTIN NICE / THE OCEAN STAR

BRICK TOWNSHIP — Nearly five years after Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, many homeowners are still fighting to get back home.

“We never thought we’d have to still be doing this when we started this four and a half years ago,” said Bridget Holmes, of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, which held a Sandy Recovery Workshop at the Ocean County Library in Brick on Wednesday, June 14.

“It didn’t occur to us there would be this many people still in this much need.”

Data on just how many homeowners are in need of assistance to rebuild their homes is spotty at best.

“Nobody really knows. It was never tracked from the beginning,” she said.

According to Ms. Holmes, 12,000 homeowners applied for state programs.

However, there were 74,000 insurance claims in the state — 36,000 in Ocean County alone, Ms. Holmes said.

“The 12,000 households that they’re capturing is like a drop in the bucket of the people who were actually impacted,” she said. In Brick Township, data is just as vague.

Erin Bolger, storm coordinator for the Brick Township Engineering Department, said the need for assistance is still substantial, though she did not venture a guess as to just how many homeowners are still in need.

Of those still needing to rebuild, Ms. Bogler said approximately 10 percent are still considered to be in a “repair state from Sandy” — homes that were substantially damaged, or damage equal to over 50 percent of the home value, and unrepaired.



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