A year after Superstorm Sandy catastrophically flooded hundreds of miles of eastern U.S. coastline, thousands of people still trying to fix their soaked and surf-battered homes are being stymied by bureaucracy, insurance disputes and uncertainty over whether they can even afford to rebuild.
BUCKS COUNTY, PA -- Mark Westphal thought the storm was over.
If Hurricane Sandy taught public officials and utility companies throughout New Jersey anything, it’s that Mother Nature can render you powerless.
Up and down the Jersey Shore, the signs tell the story.
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, file photo, Robert Connolly, left, embraces his wife Laura as they survey the remains of the home owned by her parents that burned to the ground in the Breezy Point section of New York, during Superstorm Sandy.
A van is flipped on its side in the aftermath of flooding caused by superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the Coney Island section of the Brooklyn borough of New York. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
FILE - In this Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, file photo, a utility crew works to restore power on Long Beach Island, N.J., after communities on the island sustained damage from Superstorm Sandy. An Associated Press analysis of outage times from other big hurricanes and tropical storms suggests that, on the whole, the response to Sandy by utility companies, especially in hardest-hit New York and New Jersey, was typical _ or even a little faster than elsewhere after other huge storms. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
An American flag blows in the breeze in front of one of the largest pils of storm debris at the Jersey shore in Long Branch N.J. in this Nov. 15, 2012 photo.
FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 aerial file photo, people stand near damaged homes along the Atlantic Ocean in New Jersey after the region was pounded by Superstorm Sandy.
Crews work work to replace the Superstorm Sandy destroyed boardwalk in Seaside Heights, N.J., Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. Under intense pressure from angry Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner has agreed to a vote this week on aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)