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FEMA Official Says 900 From Monmouth-Ocean Remain in Shelters

Township Administrator notes FEMA assessing need before deciding to place trailers in Stafford.

About 900 Monmouth and Ocean County residents are still in shelters or hotels after Hurricane Sandy forced people from their homes, a Federal Emergency Management Administration official said.

Tom Davies, FEMA's liaison to Ocean County, said there are about 300 people are in shelters, 500 in hotels and St. Mary's is providing shelter for an additional 100 people.

"People are still in shelters and our aim is to get them into transitional housing," Davies said at the Toms River Township Council Meeting on Tuesday. "This could take time."

Interviewed last night after the Stafford Township Council meeting, Township Administrator Jim Moran told Patch that the town has presented a plan to FEMA about a possible location for FEMA mobile homes, but he said FEMA is still trying to determine what the demand would be before deciding how many - if any -would be brought to the township. 

"At this point, I would say the best bet for people [who have been displaced and want to stay in the area] is to look at some of the rentals on LBI," Moran said. He noted that many areas of Long Beach Island were "basically untouched" by the storm, and rental properties are available. 

Davies spoke to the council when local officials were briefing the Council and public about the response to the storm, which devastated the Ortley Beach section of the township, flooded many waterfront neighborhoods and left thousands without power. 

Davies said FEMA has provided $66 million to Ocean County residents already. More than 2,000 FEMA representatives are in New Jersey already and 43,000 people in Ocean County have registered for federal assistance after Hurricane Sandy.

That did not satisfy Dr. Maureen Persi, a resident of Ortley Beach who has been displaced from the storm and only knows that her house is standing after seeing the tip of the roof from her home on a bus tour.

Persi said she has made six separate phone calls, including one from a disaster relief center that has not produced any results.  She has stayed with relatives and then at a hotel in Bordentown, until she was able to find a hotel room in Toms River on Sunday, Nov. 11.

"Everybody just gives you lip service," she said. Her repeated attempts to get help from FEMA still have not provided success, despite expectations that the poor response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 would have led to improvements in disaster relief.

"They nailed (President George W.) Bush on that and I don't see where the improvement is," Persi said. 

John Eric Mangino November 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Im very sorry to here about Dr. Maureen Persi, Trobles and losses , Seems she has fallen threw the cracks , I applied right away on line to Fema and recieved aprrovial right away , But I wil support is the lack of Fema temperey housing availibility or Hotels that are on there auto pay service. I belive this should be over hauled and that money should just be given out right away so people can decide between hotels that are not on the list. Or at least get a down payment on a Apartment . Our town Stafford reamins the benchmark al towns should strive for . I am also recieving Update alost daily from Fema via phone offering information and help finding Shelter. I belive the doctor need to visit a Fema center to get to bottem of perhaps shes been missied in the system .

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