Sandy Victim’s Waiting Game - New York News

Sandy Victim’s Waiting Game

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Manahawkin, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Bill Halbeisen lived in what he described as his own “Margaritaville” in Manahawkin, New Jersey. But, after nearly five-feet of water filled his entire home during Superstorm Sandy, he said it was like a washing machine went through his house, even tossing the boat that he once loved right on his front lawn.

Even till this day Halbeisen’s home is freezing cold, he is forced to keep his coat on inside because there is currently no heat, no running water and no electricity.

Halbeisen had everything disconnected in his home shortly after Sandy so that his home could be elevated. Unfortunately, his plans were quickly halted when he found out that he would not receive any money from the state if he started his rebuilding efforts. Since then, it has been what he calls, a “waiting game” filled with long lists of rejections and endless paperwork.

“What they said in the rejection letter was you need more than a foot of water and $8,000 in damages. Well, I got 4-5 feet of water and about $150,000 in damages. In my mind I’m thinking, how could you make a gross error like that?” He explained.

Eventually, things started to look up for Halbeisen.

“I finally got a letter saying that my appeal was reviewed and I am now eligible and I’m being put on a waiting list,” he said.

Unfortunately, he is still waiting and hasn’t gotten any money from the state at this time.

Now, Halbeisen is living in a rental home to get through the winter, but once the spring comes he’ll be moving back into a tent in his back yard. He uses the gym to take a shower and has learned where all of the clean restrooms are in the area.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says he’s listening and talked about his plans for what he calls a “Sandy Bill of Rights”. He’s frustrated and came down hard on the state and Governor Christie.

“I give the governor an A+ for going out there and getting the money and communicating, and a D- for implementing the plan because too many people are waiting for too long,” he said.

The Sandy Bill of Rights would increase transparency, provide more answers, and create bilingual resources for those in need of relief.


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