Communities Face New Obstacles Year After Superstorm Sandy - FOX 35 News Orlando

Communities Face New Obstacles Year After Superstorm Sandy

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BEACH HAVEN, N.J. -

Today marks one year since Superstorm Sandy hit the New Jersey coastline and, 12 months later, some communities are still struggling.

Sandy damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 homes and businesses in New Jersey. Monmouth and Ocean counties were hit particularly hard.

Victims have been complaining about the slow disbursement of aid and the hike in flood insurance prices.

And some contractors say it will take years to repair the damage to these homes.

Several thousand people are having their homes elevated to meet new, federal standards in the superstorm's wake. In some cases, the money comes out of pocket. It's proving to be a headache for so many who face high flood insurance rates, paired with high taxes.

FOX 29's Steve Keeley reported from Long Beach Island on Tuesday morning that there were doubts about whether Beach Haven Elementary School would survive its 100th year after it got flooded and kids had to finish last school year 15 miles away in another town.

But $2.5 million in repairs and year-and-a-half later, kids are back after the grand reopening here 11 days ago.

And New Jersey is back, too, at least most of the way.

"I've lived here over 50 years, and this was the worst storm – won't be forgotten," one Beach Haven resident told us. "I was here in '62. I was here in '91. Then, this storm here."

Compared to the way the town looked after the storm, how does it look today?

"Well, it looks a lot better," he answered. "There's no sand in the streets, no wood floating around."

One of the owners of The Chicken or the Egg in Beach Haven told us, "We need to look forward but there's still people out there who still need help, so I think it's important that we still talk about it in that respect."

Sandy is still the No. 1 topic in their dining room.

"It's right up there, for sure. Every day we get new customers that have come in that say, 'Did you guys get any water in here?' And I have to show them our Sandy line and go through the whole story over and over again," he said. "But that's – people want to hear about it, and they want to talk bit. So, that's what we do."

Asked if he thinks he'll see another storm like that in his lifetime, the restaurant co-owner said, "Oh, I hope not. I hope not. That a pain in the neck. It was a bump in the road, but it was a pretty big bump."

Coincidently, the restaurant is about to close for the season.

In Beach Haven, there are construction crews on every block, and on some blocks it's almost every house, Keeley reported. There are still so many buildings that either need to be fixed up or torn down. What you will also see plenty of empty lots, places where family homes once stood and dream houses got washed away and blown away along with the dreams of the life here at the new jersey shore.

Still, a lot of people are dreaming again, saying, it will be back 100 percent, one day, just not after one year.

There are events both big and small today to mark the anniversary.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie began his day thanking volunteers in Seaside Park, and he's also attending a prayer service in Newark.

We have an entire section on our website dedicated to Hurricane Sandy. You can see more than 200 video clips, slideshows, news updates and highlights from our "Comeback Down the Shore" series. To see our "Sandy, One Year Later" coverage, click here.

And watch tonight at 5, 6 & 10 for more of our special reports, which continue all week long.

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