NJ residents still struggle with Sandy's destruction

NewsChannel 15 Sports Director Rich Chrampanis has returned to his home state of New Jersey two weeks after Superstorm Sandy struck the northeast coast.

As NewsChannel 15 works with fellow media in Myrtle Beach collecting donations for Red Cross relief efforts for the storm, Rich is visiting the place he grew up and sharing stories from the survivors.

Sunday, he met up with two sisters whose parents live in Murrells Inlet.

Kristen Casella lives in Ortley Beach, New Jersey and is fearing the worst as she has not been allowed back to her home since Sandy came ashore.

Casella says due to issues with gas lines and sink holes on her block, it could be six months at the earliest before her family will be able to return to their home.

Kristen is still waiting for officials to open Ortley Beach to its residents for a two hour "grab and go". Two adults per household will board a school bus and be allowed one suitcase each to fill with items from their damaged homes.

The Casella's have no idea of the extent of the damage to their home, but they expect major structural damage.

Kristen's sister, Suzanna Aurnhammer, was trapped in the Toms River neighborhood of Silverpoint when Sandy arrived.

The water came up to the second floor of her home as Suzanna and her family waited the storm out in the attic. Her house suffered extensive damage along with nearly every other house in the small community.

Casella is staying at her parent's New Jersey home and is seeking to rent an apartment so her four children can still attend the same school. They evacuated the day before Sandy and filled their van with two days of clothes and anything they could get their hands on.

Donations of clothes and food along with three mattresses have helped ease the pain of being displaced from their family home.