3 years after Sandy, Belmar family is finally home

BELMAR, N.J. (WPVI) -- This week marks three years since Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction at the Jersey Shore.

For some, it is just a memory. But for others, it is still impacting their daily lives.

Shayla and Alyssa Keefe were practically giddy as they showed Action News their family's new home on 14th Avenue in Belmar Monday.

"It just feels good cause I can walk over to my friend's house, play with them for a little bit," Alyssa said.

"It feels amazing. I had friends over this weekend. It was like a normal teenage life," Shayla said.

This is what their home looked like three years ago after 2.5 feet of floodwater destroyed the house.

Since Sandy, three generations of the family have been living in a two bedroom condo a half hour away.

"I told my son when we moved in with him we'll be out of here in six months," Isabella Roberts said.

Three years later they are finally back, the last of 1,300 full-time families in town displaced by Sandy.

A grassroots fundraising campaign created by this shore community raised $240,000 to help the Keefes and another family rebuild.

One donor from Illinois sent $5,000.

"She'd never been to the Jersey Shore, she's never been to New Jersey. but because she read and heard about the plight of these single moms trying to get their families back home, she wanted to be a part of it," Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty said.

Many local businesses offered time and materials to get the house rebuilt.

"It feels amazing to be back in this house because I have less things on my mind. I have a bed to sleep in and I got a home to say I'm going to," Shaun Keefe said.

Shaun's mom Teresa says the last three years have been a nightmare of red tape and heartache, but now, they found their home.

"We are home. That's it. There's no more, no less. We are home finally," Teresa said.

New Jersey still has a long way to go rebuilding after Sandy, but for the Keefe family and some lucky others that three year journey is finally over.
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