Recovery continues 1,000 days post-Sandy
Saturday marks 1,000 days since Superstorm Sandy crippled the Garden State.
It's been nearly three years since the storm, and many in New Jersey are still piecing their lives and livelihood back together.
According to the latest figures from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, New Jersey has spent nearly $1.2 billion to repair and rebuild damaged homes.
All over the state, construction equipment and crews are a familiar sight.
"A lot of houses were destroyed," says Jesse Hyman of Hyman Construction as he oversees reconstruction on Ocean Count. "But, it's starting to look like a community again."
Although nearly three years have passed, many of the victims are still not back in their homes, and many are having issues with FEMA and their insurance. Sens. Menendez and Booker announced earlier this week a $20 million relief grant from the state Office of Emergency Management. The funds will help homeowners and business owners who are still recovering.
Gregory Kohr lost three of his ice cream shops down the shore. He's been able to rebuild two of them.
He says he is grateful the boardwalks and other businesses are back. Half of Casino Pier in Seaside Heights has been rebuilt with rides and attractions now open once again.
In Union Beach the rebuilding continues. Nearly 300 homes have been demolished. Many have been rebuilt with steel frames designed to withstand hurricane force winds, to protect them from future storms like Sandy. The mayor tells News 12 New Jersey there are still 100 more homes that need to be torn down.
On Tuesday, the state held a public meeting for victims on an amendment that aims to allocate $29 million to the Low to Moderate Income Homeowners Rebuilding Program. At the meeting, many of the victims had a chance to speak up about the program. More than 1,000 people have applied for the grant.
"It's not back to normal yet. It's not. I don't know what it is, it's just not normal yet," says Jersey Shore business owner Peter Kupper.
One thousands days later, there is a lot of progress, but the job is not complete.