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Created by Joyce Sobecky Barron on November 14, 2012
Woodland Beach is separated from New Jersey by a small strip of water and is closer to New Jersey than the closest Delaware town. Our roof blew off and 18 inches of water entered. We also lost large sections of external walls, a wraparound deck that is falling off, internal walls and ceilings that are falling down, internal doors that blew off and much other damage. In the aftermath, the public pier next to us is one of the few, if not the only, undamaged fishing piers in New Jersey and Delaware open.
Delaware has been approved for public funds (government and some non profits who operated shelters) but not individual FEMA assistance. We have been criticized for not having flood insurance. First, we were not flooded so having it or not would not make a difference. Second, we are in a pre-sales occupancy agreement and the seller is responsible for damages by storms but is refusing to pay. He hopes we will abandon the property and he will get to pocket the money we have invested in the last 4 months. Because the title will not be transferred till next year, we cannot purchase homeowners or flood insurance.
We need funds to keep our doors open and prepare to serve the fishermen who will be looking to catch the big ones now that piers in Ocean Beach, Cape Henlopen, Toms River and other areas are gone. We started a small business on 9/1/12 with the goal of restoring tourism to Kent County and creating badly needed jobs. We were told if we restored one small section and started earning money we could get more funding. We completed the restoration on October 27, the day before Sandy was forecast to land.
When we received news that the storm was forecast to directly hit near us, we set to work securing the store and stocking it to serve neighbors if they were flooded out from reaching the mainland. We stayed at the beach until the last resident left, a few hours before the storm landed.
Three sheds and a carport were lost. About half of our store inventory and some equipment was damaged. Many contents throughout the building were destroyed. This is a very large building contained on three lots, which has incorporated historic structures within the shell. Our well is destroyed. Because other people kept driving over the septic fields while sodden, we have to pay for a new septic system. We are trying to conduct business in a small section of an unheated building.
Since the storm we have had problems with people breaking in and stealing our remaining inventory - several cartons of cigarettes, all of our perishable food, many canned goods as well as contents. We have barricaded as much as we can but do not have the funds to buy plywood to do the job right.
We were staying at the property to discourage vandals but the death of a beloved nephew, and my spine surgery this week have made that impossible. It is very discouraging to see all of the help for other areas and non at all from either our government or the public who has helped other areas. We are asking for about 2-3% of the total damages, just enough to tide us over, secure the building and replace stolen and damaged inventory
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