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Sandy Is Still Here For Many

For most of us Superstorm Sandy was more of an inconvenience than anything else.  We might have lost power for some time and had a few trees fall in our yards but for the most part the loss from the storm was minimal. 

Homes in Toms River damaged by Sandy
Homes in Toms River damaged by Sandy (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

You might drive around much of Ocean County and therefore feel like the recovery is well underway and in many areas you can’t even tell there are any lingering effects.  However if you conclude that things are back to normal and the worst is clearly over then I’m here to say that is not necessarily the case.

More than three months after Sandy delivered a knockout blow to this area there are many who are wondering about the futures of their homes, businesses and lives. The problem clearly is officials don’t have answers because they’ve never dealt with the questions and the amount of miss-information has at times been greater than the correct information.

The key ingredient in all of this is money and the one constant I hear time and time again is how slow it’s coming to even those that had homeowners and flood insurance.

Just this weekend I had a conversation with a couple I’ve known for well over 40 years.  They are both retired school teachers who also own a business at the shore that was severely damaged during the storm.  They have had to sink much of their personal savings to try and restore that business and with the generosity of friends and others plan to be back for the summer season.

However what’s worse is their home in Toms River took a huge hit from Sandy and they’re working on that at the same time while living with a family member.

Here’s where the frustration really comes in.  Year in and year out they’ve paid insurance premiums and now that the time has come to put in a claim. Let’s just say the money is not coming back quickly.  So they’ve had to use credit cards for ma.jor purchases and are wondering when they’ll get what they are due.

It would be one thing if this story was unusual but has you talk with people you’ll hear it too often.  Many feel insurance companies will drag things out as long as possible in the hope some customers will just give up and figure they are on their own.  It’s been 100 days since Sandy arrived and in some ways she is still very much here.

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