Northeastern transplants on Grand Strand watch Sandy and worry

While Hurricane Sandy pounds the Northeast, thousands of people from that area who now live on the Grand Strand are keeping a close eye on the devastation.

That includes the owner of Jersey Bagels and Subs in Carolina Forest. He's from the greater New York City area and most of his customers are, too. Like Al Farina, whose son's family on Long Island suffered the brunt of Sandy's impact.

"They have no power in the house there and a lot of branches, broken branches all over the place," Farina said.

Farina got through to his son Tuesday morning - the son said his family is OK - so Farina's not worried about them now, but that was not the case Monday night.

"I was concerned. I was up all night watching that TV, early this morning, about 4 o'clock."

Jersey Bagels owner Kevin Hopf would like to be able to get back to Toms River, New Jersey, where his ex-wife and kids are bailing out of a flooded house. But he knows there's little he can do.

"To get up there, obviously, flying you can't get up," Hopf said. "To drive, the uncertainty of the roads, there's been snow in West Virginia."

Maybe one of the hardest parts about having family members impacted by the storm is the feeling of powerlessness; wanting to help, but not knowing how.

"I was talking to some of my other friends from Jersey and they were saying how they're all frustrated, how we can't be there to help or even just for support, to people who lost their homes," said Coastal Carolina University student Ryan Sheprow, whose family lives in Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.

Sheprow and others who have family in the storm's path know that when they do manage to get back home, things there may never be the same again.

"They knew it was going to be bad, but to actually see it and live it is two different things," Hopf said.

Getting his home state back to normal will take billions of dollars and a long time, Hopf added.

President Obama will travel to New Jersey Wednesday to view damage from the storm and thank first responders.