'Superstorm Sandy': 1 year later

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October 29, 2013, 8:37 am
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(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - A year ago Tuesay, the east coast was battered by Superstorm Sandy.

Twelve months later, many of the communities washed or blown away by the violent storm are still struggling to come back. One of the hardest hit was Seaside Heights, N.J..

When the storm hit, this boardwalk came to represent the communities splintered by Sandy. A year later it still tells the story of this region. Some areas have been repaired, but many others still have a long way to go.

Brian Nolan of Reeds Beach, N.J. said, "It looks exactly the same as it did after the storm. I haven't seen any activity in most of those houses."

Wrecked and abandoned homes and businesses stretch for miles. Lives are still scattered 12 months later.

"It's been a very rough, confusing year," said one person.

Denise Love lives in a trailer alongside the shell of what used to be her home.

Love said, "Sometimes it's very hard because the reality is - this is my home. This is where I live and it's not gotten any better."

Piles of debris still dot the coast and communities are left in ruins. One of the hardest hit was Seaside Heights, which has endured the "roller coaster" of the storm. After a strong initial recovery, a gut wrenching fire swallowed 50 businesses along four blocks of the iconic boardwalk..

Business Owner Mike Carbone said, "I was here during the storm, I was here during the fire. Horrible. Very trying, very testing."

The strength of survivors is being tested across the strike zone, where many complain of red tape slowing federal funds, and an all-out fight for insurance money.

Chris Jensen of Union Beach said, "I thought it would move a little faster than it has.”

But like so many, Jensen can't give up, because this is his home.

"What makes it home is I was born and raised here. I lived in this house my whole life. I think that's enough reason to make it home."

Though many, waiting for funds or help, are wondering how much longer they can hang on.

Tags: New Jersey, NBC, Seaside Heights, Jay Gray, Superstorm Sandy
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