CBS 2 Meets Distraught Couple Fighting Through More Than Just The Obvious

NORMANDY BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Superstorm Sandy left so much destruction along the Jersey Shore, for many, life may never be the same again.

Some storm victims are desperate to get a hold of precious family memories, but haven’t been able to get back home, CBS 2’s Chris Wragge reported Tuesday.

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The beautiful coastline is now a far cry from what it was. Beaches are gone. Towns like Mantoloking, Bay Head, Normandy Beach are destroyed. There is destruction in every direction and now, amid the tears and anger, frustration has set in for the people who can’t get back in to salvage what little is left.

“I get very upset. My son passed away five years ago. And I have things that I want to give my grandchildren. I’ve been making little boxes, you know, things that he had from school. It might not mean anything to anybody else, but I’m heartbroken that they are there on a shelf and hopefully dry. Then I can get to them before somebody vandalizes the house; it burns when they come to put the gas back on. It would take me 10 minutes to get out what I need, that’s all,” Antoniette Ragonesi said.

Ragonesi and her husband, Mario, were lucky enough to escape with their lives, but got away with little else. They said friends are letting them stay under their roof, but the Ragonesis have bigger issues.

“She has cancer. We don’t even have a place to go and, you know, it has taken a toll on her health. Because she’s most worried not only about her disease but also getting those items for our grandkids,” Mario Ragonesi said.

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“I forgot. I forgot about my cancer,” Antoniette added.

Normandy Beach resident were being told it could be six months before they return. The people in these beachfront communities have just one request.

“Just 10 minutes. That’s all we need. Just 10 minutes,” Mario said.

The Ragonesis were speaking on behalf of so many at the Jersey Shore who want just a few moments to collect what remains from houses and communities that are going to need years and millions of dollars to restore.

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