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Sea Bright takes the 'Long' Road Back

May 10, 2013 by admin

By Miranda Bonamo

     Half a year has gone by, yet the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and problems that followed are still not letting up. New Jersey residents up and down the coast remain struggling with the effects of the storm. One resident in particular, Sea Bright Mayor and Brookdale English professor Dina Long, has personal experience on dealing with the repercussions of Sandy.

     Long cites a lack of resources and insurance issues to be the biggest problem.

     “This was a big disaster in a small town, and it's been a struggle to do everything we need to with a handful of people and no money. To compound the situation, insurers aren't paying, or not paying fairly, which is keeping the people from starting their rebuilding,” she said. Long also is thankful for the abundance of volunteers who help to make rebuilding the small town possible.

     “At first, we had to contain a serious safety situation and deal with the debris from the storm. Next, we had to assess the damage to both public and private properties. Then, we needed a plan of attack for rebuilding and recovery, which we are working to execute now,” said Long in regard to how she plans to restore Sea Bright.

     In order to prepare for any potential future disasters, Long aims to rebuild the town using stronger methods, keep vigilant track of any climate changes, and account for the public’s access to waterways.

     Long herself is not excluded from the damages inflicted by the hurricane.

     “Our house is standing with the first floor destroyed and we are still not home,” she said. However, Long and her family were lucky enough   to find a rental home in Sea Bright to stay in as they work on repairing their house.

     Rather than dwell on the negatives of the situation, Long chooses to see the silver lining in what has happened to her town.

     “Something like this gives you a new perspective on ‘stuff’ or anything that can wash away in a flood. It may turn out that you didn't need it after all,” she said.

     Balancing a career at Brookdale, a family, and being the mayor of Sea Bright has not been easy for Long.

     “It's taken me a few months to put it back into balance, that's for sure. The Sea Bright mayor is a volunteer position that has become quite demanding in the aftermath of Sandy. I hope I look back on it someday and think it was all worth it,” she said.

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