7 years after Superstorm Sandy, homeowner nightmares continue

HEMPSTEAD, Nassau County (WABC) -- It has been almost seven years since Superstorm Sandy, and some homeowners are still dealing with a bureaucratic nightmare.

The recovery has been complicated by both federal and local government directives which have left many homeowners confused and angry.

Megan Moran of Nassau County showed us her new home as she explained the bureaucratic torture of rebuilding it.

"There were, like, no guidelines," she said. "No one knew what was happening, so trying to just obtain a permit was horrendous."

Her home is on West Boulevard in East Rockaway, a flood plain that took a beating after Superstorm Sandy.

Megan's family lost everything. They rebuilt then lifted the home. But they have run out of money before finishing it.

"We had to sell my husband's retirement," she said. "We took out a home loan. We maxed out on all our credit cards."

This week, FEMA has come back here in an effort to make sure that the National Flood Insurance Program remains intact, with homeowners doing their best to mitigate future flood risks.

The goal is to preserve the taxpayer-funded plan. Enormous amounts from it have already been paid out here.

"We probably paid more flood insurance claims here in Hempstead than in 40 of the 50 states," said FEMA's Michael Moriarty. "So we probably paid more here, than in California - the entire state of California."

The Hempstead Town Supervisor, Laura Gillen, added that the prior administration here also failed to keep homeowners informed.

Instead, they were kept in the dark for years about damage assessments from those chaotic days after the storm.

"The determinations were basically put in a filing cabinet," said Gillen. "And none of the homeowners were basically given the notice that there could be a rating out there that impacts their home."

None, that is, until nearly 7 years later.

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