Bayshore communities still seeking Sandy recovery assistance - NBC40.net

Bayshore communities still seeking Sandy recovery assistance

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DOWNE TWP. -

Feelings of neglect and abandonment were common amongst residents we spoke with Tuesday afternoon, as Bayshore communities continue their recovery efforts one year later.

"It’s a shame, it's a bad deal," said resident Anthony Bukenas.

"I didn't have much damage, a lot of people had big damage and they're not getting much help."

"As far as beach front protection, dune restoration, bulkhead repair, there’s been little to nothing happening," said Downe Township Mayor Robert Campbell.

Cumberland County has missed out on most of major federal Sandy aid. The county, as a whole, did not meet the damage threshold so did not qualify as one of New Jersey's hardest hit counties, something that residents have a hard time believing.

"Down here it seems like Fortescue isn't a part of the United States," said resident Albert Munger.

"All of these fronts, everyone one of these fronts of those houses are destroyed, they’re gone and this isn't a disaster area? There’s no way in the world!"

Now, one year later, the sight of destroyed homes and damaged bulkheads leaves the residents with little hope.

"There’s a lot of work to be done, they’re still in recovery mode, they’re all doing what these folks here are doing but its like they've lost hope that they'll be acknowledged or recognized," said Mayor Campbell.

Now, the fight for aid along the bay is starting to pick up. Recently Congressman Frank LoBiondo wrote a letter to Governor Christie with the goal of bringing attention and much needed relief money to the Bayshore Communities.

The letter, written on Monday, urges Governor Christie to find a way to use some of the over one billion dollars in newly received federal Sandy relief money to financially assist the Bayshore Communities with recovery. Township officials recognize the need for the money sooner rather than later as the winter storm season approaches.

"We’re doing what we can to keep those maintained but if we get a storm, a winter storm, and we'll get one, we’re in trouble," said the Mayor.

And while the plea for help may restore some hope, residents are left to wonder "if" and "when" the help will arrive.

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