Ariel Torres feels double loss at demolition of South River home

Ariel Torres' home is one of dozens on

Ariel Torres' home is one of dozens on Freeman Street that will come down. Torres (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

SOUTH RIVER - As demolition begins on Sandy-damaged homes in South River, one man returned to watch the official end of an era in his life.

Ariel Torres' home is one of dozens on Freeman Street that will come down. Torres had to face tragedy twice the day the superstorm blew through. He also lost his wife.

On the day of the storm, his wife of 43 years was in the hospital with complications from a stroke.

"I came here, everything was a disaster," Torres says. "Destroyed everything. I go back to the hospital and my wife died in my arms."

The home was later bought out by the state under the Blue Acres program.

Torres says his house was worth more than $300,000. Under the buyout, he received $220,00, but after payments to the bank he was left with much less than that.

Between Sayreville and South River, 132 homes have been bought by the program and over 1,000 more across the state have either accepted offers or been approved. 

Torres says he needed to watch his house come down, comparing it to losing a family member and needing to be at the burial. "This is a part of me," he says.

Once the homes are cleared, the land will become open space and a buffer against future storms and flooding.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

The owner of Jewelry Expo in Union Township 1 Sleight-of-hand thieves steal $10K worth of jewelry
On a busy Friday morning, just seconds before 2 Good Samaritan saves woman's life, gets robbed in Edison
Jersey City police officers are urged to stay 3 Jersey City Police on alert following NYPD murders
A house in Manalapan caught fire after it 4 House catches fire on Dancer Lane in Manalapan
The event, which is only in its second 5 Central NJ brain tumor walked held in Asbury Park

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Authorities say 47 homes will be demolished and Sandy buyout homes demolished in Middlesex County

Officials say 47 Middlesex County homes that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy will be demolished

Bill would use open space funds for flood buyouts

(AP) - A proposal to allow New Jersey towns to buyflood-prone properties using open space

Homeowners in Manville offered buyouts

Officials in one flood-prone Somerset County town are offering property owners the chance to sell

Demolition began in Sayreville Thursday on homes bought Demolition begins on Sayreville buyouts

Demolition began in Sayreville Thursday on homes bought out by the government after Sandy. A

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.