Jersey Shore Town Struggles to Rebound

On Day Of Christie's State Of The State, Shore Residents Weigh In On Rebuilding

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The windows of a  home are still boarded up more than two months after Sandy made its way through the area. The windows of a home are still boarded up more than two months after Sandy made its way through the area.
Fortescue, NJ -

As Gov. Chris Christie delivered his State of the State Address Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey residents who are trying to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy talked to FOX 29 about what they still need.

Fortescue is a tiny beach town facing the Delaware Bay in Cumberland County.  "This is paradise here, this is really paradise," insisted longtime resident Al Munger.  But a big piece of paradise has been lost.  

Munger took FOX 29 on a walk along Fortescue Beach, to show the damage from the hurricane.  "He just built the front out, a 14-foot deck, it's not there no more," Munger said, pointing to a home that sustained major damage.

Munger has lived in Fortescue for more than 30 years.  He still sees far more damage than renovation long after Sandy left town.  "He was going to sell his house and now it's pretty well destroyed, the front of it," Munger said.  The homeowner is not selling it now.  "Yeah, not without a lot of repairs," Munger added.

Some repairs are under way in Fortescue, but the going is slow.  While the state and the nation focus on the devastation down the Jersey shore, Fortescue spends a lot of time waiting its turn.  The mayor of Fortescue calls his town "the other Jersey shore."  He estimates Fortescue lost between 30 to 40 homes.  He's not exactly sure, because like so many others here, he's waiting to find out whether some homes might be salvageable."  

But many contractors are busy rebuilding elsewhere, and not quite available yet.  Homeowners here say insurance companies are still holding off making full payments.  And as Governor Christie has complained, Congress is dragging its feet with federal aid, so too many residents are in a holding pattern.

Munger hopes financial help arrives soon.  "These people are good, good, good people.  And that's why I'd like to see them getting a lot more help than they're getting.  There could be a lot more help," Munger insisted.  

Until that help arrives, paradise remains somewhere off in the distant future.

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