Everyone is aware of how devastating Superstorm Sandy was to numerous homes throughout the Northeast, especially in New Jersey. For freshman Justin Juliano, Sandy not only destroyed his family’s beach home, but also a part of his childhood.
Juliano, a secondary math education major, recalled his initial reaction upon seeing his family’s Ocean City, N.J. home after Sandy.
“A neighbor had sent us a picture of the house during the storm and it didn’t look that bad,” Juliano said. “But when we got there, we realized just how bad it was.”
Juliano’s house had over six inches of water soaked into the rug, as well as damage to furniture and other belongings that he and his siblings remembered from their childhoods.
“We had to sort through things we could keep. The rest got thrown out, as well as the furniture. We ripped out most of the drywall as well so basically all that’s left is the skeleton of the house. There were a lot of things in the house that had funny stories behind them and now they’re gone,” Juliano said. “I miss them.”
Juliano’s house was not the only one to be affected, but it was one of the luckier ones. He recalls an elderly couple who lives on the island full-time, and who virtually lost their house completely.
“It was really sad. They lost practically everything, and now they’re living in a hotel,” Juliano said. “Others had to do the same thing, and the ones who still had their houses were out front shoveling the sand away just like it was snow.”
Now that the storm has come and gone, the Juliano family has to make a very difficult decision.
“My dad is a contractor and has to decide whether it’s worth it to to even fix it, or to just tear it down,” Juliano said. “The foundation is cracked, so the decision isn’t looking too good.”
Juliano is hoping that the house will be re-built, but is still unsure things will go back to the way they were before the storm.
“It was our childhood,” Juliano said. “To not know what this summer will be like is a scary thought.”