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Overwhelmed Union Beach Residents Have Mixed Opinions On Rebuilding After Sandy

Possible New Building Requirements From FEMA Also Adding To The Hardship
Union Beach Storm Damage (credit: CBS 2)

Union Beach Storm Damage (credit: CBS 2)

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Superstorm Sandy

UNION BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — In many New Jersey communities, recovering from Superstorm Sandy has been a daunting task.

As homeowners consider rebuilding, they face other challenges.

Only a few homes were left standing on Brook Avenue. Sandy destroyed the rest of the homes on the street, turning them into piles of rubble as if a tornado had pulled them from the ground.

From a window inside his house that still stands, Bill Morgans has a view of the destruction. He said he is unsure of what he will do next.

“I am upset. I am going to lose some nice neighbors. Right now, I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to try to rebuild it,” Morgans told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Monday.

Charlie Noble’s home survived, but he said he is unable to live in it.

“So we’re more or less in same boat as people that lost their house,” Noble said. “You know, people, friends of mine call me from all over and they say they look at pictures, but pictures don’t do this justice.”

It is a sentiment echoed by many overwhelmed Union Beach storm victims, many of whom had their homes washed across fields.

Those homes were built at a certain elevation and now new the Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements may be imposed on homeowners.

Residents have been in line at the local construction office to see if they will have to adjust to new standards, but many said FEMA is not releasing information.

“I am not going to rebuild, probably sell my property and get out here,” Michael Stecky said.

But Barbara Zois, who owns an old house, part of which was ripped out, said she plans to rebuild.

“It’s not going to go down. It’s not going down,” Zois said.

Borough officials said homeowners have the right to build again, just so as long as they adhere to any new building standards.

Governor Chris Christie said it is still too early for FEMA to release its new building requirements.

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