UNION BEACH - Dozens of homeowners in Union Beach have learned that FEMA will not be covering the cost of their home demolitions after being promised the funds back in May.
Roger and Mary Jane Michalak say nearly 200 other homeowners were reimbursed for demolition after Sandy dumped 8 feet of water inside their homes. The Michalaks' home of 47 years was destroyed, and they intended to rebuild.
Crews began demolishing 170 other homes back in January and the homeowners were reimbursed by FEMA. Two weeks ago, FEMA officials told the borough that homeowners now have to prove their house is in imminent danger of collapsing in order to receive any help from FEMA.
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The Michalaks say if they would have known that ahead of time, they would have left because they have the money to pay for the demolition.
Borough officials are upset too. "I promised all these people that I would help them rebuild and now I can't,” says Borough Administrator Jennifer Maier.
Maier is trying to get grants to rent machinery so volunteers can come in and flatten the homes.