Family who lost home to Sandy forced to flee again ahead of Florence

Posted: Updated:

A former New Jersey couple who lost a home to Superstorm Sandy says that they are being forced to flee from another hurricane now that they live in South Carolina.

The Leightons’ vacation home in Little Egg Harbor was badly damaged during the 2012 storm. The home was declared a total loss.

“The water was 3, 4 feet in the house,” says Gerry Leighton.

The former Morris County couple moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in recent years – a town that is now in the path of Florence.


Gerry says that the insurance battles and struggles she saw many Sandy victims going through have heightened her fears in the days since she evacuated to Greensboro, South Carolina.

RELATED: Twin brothers return to NJ after Florence spurs college evacuation

“The thing that's really frustrating is we also learned how insurance works for these types of events and it's really disconcerting,” she says. “Because it was our second home FEMA doesn't get involved at all so we were on our own for insurance.”

Gerry says that her insurance company would fight her on water damage and ask if it came from flooding or just simply rain. She also says that her experience after Sandy has given her a heightened sense of how easily a storm like this can take everything.

“When we were packing up to leave yesterday, I couldn't help but feel knowing if I'm not taking that, it may not be here when I get back. Or it may be garbage. So that was pretty stressful,” she says. “There was a little bit of PTSD with that because you just don't know what we're going to find.”

Gerry says that her home in Myrtle Beach is far enough inland that she believes her home will be fine. But she says that it is hard to know.

The Leightons say that their development in South Carolina is home to dozens of former New Jerseyans who moved to the area.

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