Raising Homes To Lower The Risk After Sandy - New York News

Raising Homes To Lower The Risk After Sandy

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TOMS RIVER, N.J. -

Tuesday marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. And residents along the Jersey Shore continue to rebuild, many choosing to elevate their homes.

But it's a task that has proven costly, in more ways than one.

Diane Berg of Toms River, N.J., is one of several thousand people having her house elevated to meet new federal standards, and then some, following Hurricane Sandy.

"So if I lift it according to what the magic number is today, and next year they say, 'We've redone the numbers, and you've got to go up another six inches,' well that money has to come out of my pocket again," Berg said.

Because of fickle FEMA regulations, some homeowners opt to lift their houses even higher than necessary as a precaution. But not all residents can pull this off smoothly. Some say their insurance companies and FEMA are not giving them enough money to make mandated changes.

It's very important to use a reputable contractor when elevating your home.

Craig Alsdorf, managing partner for Ward Home Services, is here to help. With the help of shore house lifters, the company has elevated some 60 homes since the storm, and they're reportedly on tap to raise 100 more over the next four to seven years.

"We actually walk them through. We put in the claim for them. We take care of the process and I think once they see they're in good hands and that the steps are going along, their comfort level rises a great deal," Alsdorf said.

A homeowner's relieved reaction once their home is raised is one that Alsdorf cherishes.

"It gives you a sense of accomplishment that you're actually helping these people," he says. "They're the ones that have gone through all this, we're doing our job."

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