Nearly 10 months after Hurricane Sandy, homeowners, businesses and even entire neighborhoods are still feeling the effects. NY1's Erin Clarke visited one couple who have made their way back and filed the following report.
Nelson and Sharon DeGracia have a gorgeous view of Long Island Sound from their Edgewater Park home, located right on the water's edge. But that view cost them dearly when Hurricane Sandy tore through their house, displacing them for eight months.
"When we finally got in there it was saturated and it was kind of like just being in the Twilight Zone for a lack of a better description," said Sharon DeGracia.
NY1 first visited the DeGracias in March. Their home was a skeleton then, the walls and flooring crumbling, mold everywhere, while they argued back and forth with their insurance company.Now All-State has paid out $37,000, about half, the DeGracias say, of the cost of repairs. They say they're negotiating for more but are glad to be back home.
"It was like being on a reality show. As soon as we sort of walked in after we had seen what it was prior, we were just in awe of how it actually turned out, that we actually had a better arrangement," said Nelson DeGracia.
From the outside, the home doesn't look any different than the beach bungalow that the DeGracias fell in love with. But now it's built stronger to withstand any potential damage that another storm may cause.
The house has been elevated about a foot and the foundation hardened.
"The footing is totally in cement. We put all treated lumber down on the foundation, which normally you don't have to do, but because they're near the water we decided to do," said Richard Acevedo of Acevedo Contracting.
"We had sliding glass doors back here and instead now we have the French doors which I think are a better protection against the wind and the rain," said Nelson DeGracia.
The DeGracias say the investments are well worth it, because they're not going anywhere.
They say the rest is up to the city.
"We hope that the city will prepare people and have things in place so that when it happens again we're better prepared," said Nelson DeGracia.
The DeGracia's say they hope their neighbors and other New Yorkers still recovering from Sandy can enjoy many more years in their waterfront homes.