Sandy victims blast delays in flood insurance aid

January 4, 2013 • Business

A worker uses a bulldozer to push debris from Superstorm Sandy into a large pile in Lavallette N.J. Friday, Jan. 4, 2012, shortly before Congress voted to approve aid for storm victims. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

LAVALLETTE, N.J. (AP) — Even as Congress passed the first part of an aid package for victims of Superstorm Sandy, many victims seethed, wondering why it took so long.

The $9.7 billion measure approved Friday allows the National Flood Insurance Program to continue to pay claims. It was due to run out of money next week. But some of those still lugging waterlogged debris from homes or shoveling sand from lawns and walkways after the late October storm weren’t impressed.

“I think it’s horrible it took this long,” said Susan VanVeen, of Randolph, N.J., who was part of a volunteer group that drove to Lavallette to help clean up strangers’ homes. “This area is completely devastated. It’s still probably going to be weeks before people get this money. This should have happened a long time ago.”

John Condit, of Seaside Heights, N.J., which lost the boardwalk upon which much of the “Jersey Shore” reality series was filmed, also said the delay in approving aid after the storm was disgraceful.

“It’s just criminal,” he said. “We do all this work for other countries, but when it comes to us, it takes like 60 days. You pay taxes, and your Login to read more

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