A Stand Island woman has been living out of a hotel for weeks and wants to move back home for Christmas. NY1's Amanda Farinacci has the story.
There are signs of life on Slater Boulevard. Most of the residents whose homes were damaged, but still habitable, are in fact living inside while work is done to repair them.
But not all are that lucky.
Outside Heather Karlsberg's Dongan Hills home there is a tree decorated for Christmas, despite the fact that she hasn't lived there since Hurricane Sandy hit.
"We want to go home," Karlsberg said. "The traveling to work and to school, because I do have a 5 year old and his school is still where we live, it's been -- it's been a lot of work."
Sandy completely flooded the first floor of the home where Karlsberg has lived her entire life. Her electrical system, her boiler and all her major appliances -- ruined.
She was approved for emergency housing, but spent two weeks at her sister's house, since many Staten Island hotels were overflowing with people displaced by the storm.
But for the last four weeks, her home has been at the Hampton Inn in Bloomsfield.
"I make a joke, you know, I have breakfast every morning served for me and my bed's made when I come back from work," Karlsberg said. "But that's just me saying, 'all right, I have to look at the positives.' Because really, I have no other choice. This is what I have to do."
About 100 families have stayed at the Hampton Inn for the past few weeks. Karlsberg says everyone has a similar story -- how Sandy forced them out of their homes, how they're struggling to rebuild and wondering what to expect when they can finally go back.
"This was hard and no one expected this," Karlsberg said. "And no one could, no one really could stop it. So it is what it is. I'm moving back there. I'm sure if I put a for sale sign on my house come spring, it's really not going to do well on the market."
Karlsberg says she expects to check out of the hotel this weekend so she can spend the holidays at home with her son.