CCR – News/Talk WSB | Gwinnett volunteers get firsthand look at Sandy damage
By Sandra Parrish, News/Talk WSB,
January 8, 2013
UNION BEACH, N.J. — Residents in some of the hardest hit areas along the Jersey shore have begun rebuilding despite the widespread damage brought on by Superstorm Sandy last year.In Union Beach, which is home to mostly blue-collar workers, nearly 75 percent of the houses were either damaged or destroyed by the water surge.Patti Height, a flight attendant by trade, took a leave of absence from her job through March to help coordinate relief efforts in the town of 6,100 for Calvary Chapel Hurricane Relief.“Union Beach is one of those coastal towns that’s on the Raritan Bay, so it took a direct hit from Hurricane Sandy,” she told News/Talk WSB.
Height lives just eight miles away and was knocking on doors in Union Beach within days of the hurricane looking for people to help.
“We were just walking around looking at people outside with that look like,’ Where do I even start’,” she says.
One of those was Raymond Zimmer. She found him and three others living in his garage out back keeping warm with a space heater.
A little more than two months after the storm, the group has gutted in the inside of his home and a team from Gwinnett County began this week putting up new drywall.
He complains that he still has not gotten any money from his insurance company or the federal government.
“If it wasn’t for friends, family, and the church, I would have to wait on that money just to even get started,” says Zimmer.
If all goes as planned, he hopes to be back living in the home by the end of January.
His next door neighbor, Nelson Rivera, is also getting assistance through Height and Calvary Chapel relief teams.
He never left his two-story home despite suffering two feet of water inside. Because he’s been unable to find temporary housing for his family, he has been living on the second floor keeping warm with a space heater while his wife and kids have moved in with her father