Residents of Holgate still rebuilding after Sandy

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October 31, 2013 2:31:12 PM PDT
Residents of Holgate are still rebuilding and still hoping that things will one day return to normal.

Holgate took a brutal blow from Sandy. At least a dozen homes were washed away and another 500 sustained serious damage. It looked like a bomb went off here right after the storm.

"Everything was knocked out from beneath the house, all the heating systems, garages, cars, everything was knocked out," explained contractor Frank Maugeri.

At the LBI Trailer Park 175 trailers had been toppled like dominos and destroyed. The owner decided to close the park, which had been there for decades and is now an empty lot. Pat and Sue Foley used to live there but had to relocate after Sandy.

Pat says, "We were 15 years here in LBI Trailer Park along with many others what were here. Little stabs or remorse or remembrance will come up and especially driving by your old house site."

Sue tells us, "I think the mourning process isn't over for anybody yet, and it goes away, comes back, goes away, comes back. So you just have to deal with it as it comes."

Emil Clemente owns a beachfront house that he raised 5 feet after the storm. He says the contractor had to move the house three times and still didn't get it right.

"When they put the house back on the pile, I'm 18 inches too close to the road," Emil explained. "They moved my house forward so I don't have the proper setback now and they refuse to come back."

Sandy destroyed whatever dunes there were in Holgate. Long Beach Township is using eminent domain to secure property easements so the Army Corps of Engineers can begin a badly needed $150 million beach replenishment.

Mayor Joe Mancini tells Action News, "Whenever we get a good blow out tide we put the dozers out there and we push the sand up. The dunes actually look pretty good now. Obviously they would never survive another Sandy, but they'll survive a 3 day Nor'easter."

The 3 feet of sand that filled the streets a year ago is gone. Most of the ruined homes have been demolished. Those who can are rebuilding and there's hope that Holgate will be what it once was.


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