Posted on

2 years after Sandy hit, some victims in Bergen County are still waiting for relief


2 years after Sandy hit, some victims in Bergen County are still waiting for relief


Volunteer Jessica Martinez being trained by Mike Stimson of Habitat for Humanity at a Little Ferry home damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Of all the money dispersed to homeowners and renters whose lives were upended by Superstorm Sandy two years ago today, not a penny of it has helped rid Donna Mojica of the mold that has festered around her water-damaged trailer home.

Sick of looking at the mold as it crept up the walls of her kitchen and bedroom, the Moonachie resident took a paintbrush to the white- and black-speckled spores.

The Mojicas aren’t confident they will ever receive the thousands of dollars needed for mold remediation, despite the assistance of a case manager helping them navigate various applications for aid grants.

So far, the family has received only about $600 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to replace an awning on the trailer and two months of rental assistance, a welcome reprieve that ends next month. Aside from the paint, nothing has been done about the Mojicas’ mold problem in two years.

“How long am I going to have to breathe this in before I get sick?” said Donna Mojica, who, along with her husband, Adam, reflects a weariness among some storm victims around the state who say aid programs have been inequitably administered and leave some feeling underserved after the worst weather-related disaster of its kind on record.

The storm, which began as the largest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean and devastated the Caribbean, the East Coast and parts of Canada, made landfall as a powerful rain and wind event in New Jersey on Oct. 29, 2012. It killed 37 people statewide, including one person in Bergen County, where 5,000 people were evacuated from the low-lying towns of Little Ferry and Moonachie. Flooding caused by a 10-foot storm surge overwhelmed the nearby Meadowlands’ flood control systems, and municipal pump stations were inadequate to sweep water back into the Hackensack River.

Despite more than $1 billion allocated to victims in the form of relocation, rebuilding and other supplemental grant funds, according to the Christie administration, a new Monmouth University poll finds that less than a third of victims in the state feel recovery efforts have focused on them.

– See more at: