Waiting for Restoration

After losing their house and struggling to regain it, Luz and Bianca are still left trying to restore after Hurricane Sandy.

Luz Villamil-Bayona and her daughter Bianca Bockman were living in an apartment building on Jefferson Street in Hoboken, New Jersey when Hurricane Sandy struck. To prepare for the upcoming storm, they lifted everything they could and moved it to approximately two feet above the ground, and bought extra food. After the storm, they sustained severe flooding to their house and were forced to move to different housing locations.

The water contained large amounts of petroleum and sewage. When they came to check out the damage they found mold on the walls and most of their possessions had been damaged. Two feet of sheet rock had to be cut away and the walls had to be dried with industrial materials. The electrical outlets in the apartment were flooded and had to be removed.

For weeks they attempted to contact city officials to get their apartment restored but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Luz had trouble going to work and continuing with everyday life. And Bianca tried to contact management to get their house fixed. They have been waiting to hear when they can move back in. The management has said that the date when their house will be livable again is unconfirmed.

Luz has been relocated five times and currently lives in Jersey City. Bianca currently lives in Hoboken with her boyfriend. Repairs began last week and effort is being made to restore the house.