NJ shore towns still awaiting Sandy money

January 15, 2013 2:37:58 PM PST
Residents of New Jersey shore communities want to know why Congress still hasn't approved money to help them rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.

"Where is it? Where is it, Congress? Where is the money? Show me the money!" said Jackie Lentzsch of Bridgewater.

41,000 families have been displaced from their homes in New Jersey and a quarter of a million people have asked for assistance.

"We need to go back home. There are people displaced, there are children in different school districts because of this and we need to do something as soon as possible," said Josephine DeFeis.

Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers says the borough has borrowed money to rebuild the boardwalk here before summer, hoping to be reimbursed later with federal funds. Tourism is the borough's number one revenue source and he says Washington has taken too long to deliver help.

"I can't wait. I can't wait for them. If I worked like they work this town wouldn't even open," Akers said.

People here don't understand why Congress, which has responded so quickly after disasters elsewhere, would make people here wait months for the money needed to recover and rebuild.

"You can't go on with nothing and hope they're going to have pity on us. It's our tax dollars! We're not asking for anything that hasn't been given to somebody else," said Lucy Levine of Toms River.

With the boardwalk gone merchant Vinny Scuzzese has set up his stand under a tent on Ocean Terrace.

"I got no income coming in. I usually open in winter months so, you know, I still got to open and make money and provide for the family," Scuzzeze said.

Like thousands of other sandy victims Vinny hopes Congress finally comes through with all the money needed to help "restore the shore."