‘It's in my nightmares to this day’: Brick family still rebuilding 10 years later following Superstorm Sandy

Some New Jersey residents and families are still recovering from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy 10 years later.

News 12 Staff

Oct 20, 2022, 10:31 AM

Updated 544 days ago

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Some New Jersey residents and families are still recovering from the destruction of Superstorm Sandy 10 years later.
It’s been a decade since the night Lisa and Scott Vanderveer huddled with their three kids in their Brick Township home as three feet of water rushed in, destroying their home and upending their lives.
“I hear you screaming and crying and you're holding each other and it's in my nightmares to this day,” says Skylyr Vanderveer.
But even 10 years after that night their daughter Skylyr will never forget, Sandy is still taking its toll.
“Being that the house doesn't have a CO (certificate of occupancy), we can't get a mortgage,” says Scott. “Right we can't get a refi to borrow the money and our credit is shot.”
The new home they built is painfully close to being finished, but they still find themselves in one of the bureaucratic snafu thousands of New Jersey Sandy victims know all too well.
They were initially approved for a $90,000 grant from the state RREM probam to finish the work.
They borrowed the money from friends and relatives and started construction in 2017 with the promise to pay their lenders back when the state money comes in, but recently, the state notified them they won't be getting the money after all.
“Because they say my work address that I use to collect mail and my home address are the same,” says Scott.
The addresses match because Scott worked as the job's general contractor himself. An electrician, he is on the list of approved contractors for the state program.
“Whenever we think we're good to go there always seems to be a little glitch,” says Scott.
They're living in the home, but they can't get a permanent certificate of occupancy until the work is done. They can't get the work done until they get the money.
A full decade now and on it goes.
Like many Sandy victims, hey look back on the saga: demolishing a home, building another; a court battle with their flood insurance company; times spent living in an RV -- not as a defining moment in their lives, but a defining era that still won't end.
“We're going to always be here,” says Scott. “We want to have something we can pass down to our kids as well.”


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