Massive jaws take big bites of debris from the pile of rubble in Union Beach. While families watch, it dumps their homes into a waiting trash hauler bite by bite.
“We now know how people in Katrina felt,” said Ashley Severino who grew up in Union Beach and played in the yard that’s now buried in wreckage. “You’re just losing what you ever had in a matter of seconds.”
Severino’s granny lived across the street for 21 years. A demolition team tore her home down last week, leaving a muddy scar.
“Twenty-one years of memories just squashed in a half-hour,” Linda Severino said.
“Every day there’s another house going down,” said Joe Mastorio. He’s lost count of how many. He walks his dog through the neighborhoods.
“It’s devastating to the town. Hopefully by the summer they can get some more people back in,” Mastorio said.
Superstorm Sandy leveled beach blocks and ruined many residences beyond repair in Union Beach. So far, borough officials say 153 houses have been torn down, with eight more scheduled for demolition this week.
But many residents here want to rebuild. You can find foundations rising already, block by block.
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