Resident On The Destruction: 'It's More Like A Tsunami Than A Hurricane'

BRICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — This week, Tri-State Area lawmakers are pushing for major funding to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy. It has been nearly six weeks since the storm hit and thousands of people are still homeless and without power.

Residents in the Brick section of a barrier island in New Jersey were allowed back into their storm-ravaged neighborhoods on Thursday and as CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the devastation they walked into was overwhelming.

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Just past the National Guard checkpoint, the destruction is surreal.

A home toppled on top of an upside down Army truck. Once vibrant neighborhoods … gone.

Houses along the beach are destroyed, while others are burnt to the ground.

About 60 or so bungalows used to stand where CBS 2’s Sloan was. During Sandy they went up in flames. One can see where the fire stopped at one bungalow, where there were still clothes hanging in a closet.

All of it is heartbreaking for people who used to live in the area and who now have no homes.

“See in the blue house there? He rode it out,” resident Dick Randolph said, referring to one man who wouldn’t leave during the storm. “See that tree over there? He rode it out hanging on to that tree on the roof.”

Sloan visited Randolph’s street in the Normandy Beach section of Brick. Amazingly, his house still stands, though he and his wife lost everything.

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“The worst part of it is sitting here looking at it piled up out front, all of our things,” Judy Randolph said. “It’s more like a tsunami than a hurricane.”

The Randolphs came back to clean up their gutted-out home, but they can’t live in it.

“We’re staying with a friends in Toms River and over to our daughter’s, back and forth,” Judy Randolph said.

On the border in Mantoloking, first floors of homes are buried in the sand. Other homes are leaning on their sides. New Jersey National Guard members have been working around the clock.

“The looting here has ceased … at least to the minimum,” Sgt. Alberto Nicasio said.

And they said they will stay  in this community until it gets back to normal, but just one look around has left many wondering when that will be.

Residents and contractors were allowed in for a short time Thursday. For now, no one is allowed to live on the barrier island.

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