Nineteen months after Hurricane Sandy left four feet of water in Thomas Largey’s house in Sea Bright, New Jersey, the 82-year-old still lives with his daughter as he awaits aid to raise and rebuild his home.
Reopened resorts and new boardwalks touted by Governor Chris Christie obscure the experience of Jersey Shore residents like Largey who remain in hotels or with relatives. At the start of the second summer since the October 2012 storm, 6,300 people remain on a waiting list to receive grants for house-raising. Fewer than half of the 5,400 applications approved are under construction.
Recovery from Sandy, which was initially a strength for Christie and helped him win a second term, is joining his list of liabilities along with persistent budget gaps and the George Washington Bridge scandal. Almost three-fourths of New Jersey voters said aid has been too slow and blamed the state. Satisfaction with the pace dropped below 50 percent for the first time in an April poll by Monmouth University.