NJ man reports house missing after Sandy

December 7, 2012 3:53:33 PM PST
Not many people can say they've reported their house missing to police, but that's what one New Jersey resident did after Hurricane Sandy.

72-year-old Nick Maria of Whippany says that after the storm, he spotted his home on 5th Avenue in Ortley Beach in video shot from Chopper 6.

His home - a white rancher - knocked off its foundation was sitting between two other houses.

"You think maybe I'll get my personal belongings, see if it could be repaired see if it could be fixed," said Maria.

Three weeks later when residents were finally allowed back into the area, Maria couldn't find his house - it was gone.

"I was shocked and stunned for a few minutes, I had no idea what was going on," said Maria.

Maria called police, the township and even the governor's office.

"One of the governor's assistants said to me, 'You sure your house is gone?' I said 'Miss, you misplace a pen, a pencil - you don't misplace a house," said Maria.

He also called a lawyer. The New Jersey Department of Transportation told him and Action News that Nick's house was one of 26 in Ortley Beach that had to be removed to clear the streets for public safety.

"I don't know why they removed my house, it wasn't in the street. According to your helicopter video my house is on this side of that pole. All the pictures I've seen and saved - not one of them shows it being in the street," said Maria.

Police say it would be worthwhile to review the situation.

"We were presented with some pictures that bring it to a level of concern. I think it certainly would be prudent to do a review of what transpired," said Chief Mike Mastronardy, Toms River Police.

Maria says it's wrong that he never got the chance to grab jewelry, photos and other personal items and now has to start from scratch.

"My wife is very upset and she cried her eyes out all day in Ortley Beach," he said.


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