Streams

Union Beach’s Sandy Recovery Requires ‘Patience’

Monday, April 29, 2013

The small, working class community of Union Beach, New Jersey, just across the Raritan Bay from Staten Island is one of the places we’ve been following since Sandy struck.

Bobby Burlew, head of the construction department, has been one of the busiest guys in Union Beach these past few months.  

“We’re taking down two hundred homes,” he said, describing a typical work day.  While just the most badly damaged structures are being totally demolished, more than 1,700 homes and rentals — or about 80 percent of all the borough’s dwellings — sustained at least some damage when storm surges enveloped the community last October. 

“Two thousand and six hundred people are still not in town,” he continued. “Our schools are still closed down. We lost some of our firehouses. We lost eleven police cars. So, you know, we’re not doing very good right now. There is some consensus in Union Beach that if a full recovery is to take place, it will likely require a lot of patience.”

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Comments [1]

Tara prestia

Patience... Is that we are calling it now. It has been 6 months and outside of rental assistance from FEMA we have seen no help from anyone. And it's not easy. My daughter was 5 weeks old when the storm hit. And that week or so without power in those cold temps was a horrifying experience ... Trying to make sure she was warm and safe, while at the same time trying to deal with the emotions of seeing your home destroyed. We had at least 5 1/2 feet of water in out home. Everything was destroyed. And now we are living in a tiny one bedroom place with out daughter and our 3 cats with no idea of when we are going back. We have to rebuild as we cannot lift our home due to the wait is constructed so we have to knock down and rebuild. We are waiting to see what additional grants will come out that we can apply for to assist with this cost. But at the same time even though we were hit hard, my husband has been doing a fund raiser with his company and he has raised $10,000.00. This weekend that money is being used to purchase building supplies that will be delivered to families this weekend.

Apr. 30 2013 05:57 PM

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