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Post-Sandy Reconstruction Far From Finished In Crisfield

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Damage from Hurricane Sandy lingers in the shore town of Crisfield, Md.
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Damage from Hurricane Sandy lingers in the shore town of Crisfield, Md.

If you drive down any street in Crisfield, Md., you are likely to see at least one construction company vigorously working on a home, and another two or three homeowners adding to huge piles of rubble in their front yards. This slow cleanup and rebuilding has become the new normal in Crisfield.

Deborah Howard Sorenson had to fix the foundation and entire roof, and gut much of her century old home's interior after Hurricane Sandy hit last October.

"I do feel like I'm living in a construction site, but the odd thing is, I'm really content," she says. "I'm very happy right now."

Volunteer faith based organizations like the Mennonite Disaster Service have been here since January and in some cases, they are tearing down and completely rebuilding homes that were condemned.

"All the new homes in Crisfield will sit at least two feet above the flood level," says Ken Kurtz, a volunteer from Chesapeake, Va.

That's about six-and-half feet off the ground, so ramps are also a necessity in some cases for elderly residents. And while the cinder block foundations on these new federally funded homes aren't the most attractive, town officials believe they will be effective if another whopper of a storm hits Crisfield again.

But with the year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy a little over a month away, there is still a lot of work to be done. Crisfield's long-term recovery committee says off the 228 cases for assistance that have been filed, more than 100 haven't even been opened yet.

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