They are able to laugh about it now.
Michael and Shannon Rusoff started merely to mop their hardwood
floors the day after Hurricane Sandy heavily flooded their Long Beach home, where they
remained after the storm.
The reality, though, was that the house needed to be gutted and
the couple had to move out, especially after a subsequent oil
spill. Like many Long Beach residents, their experience of living through a rare, devastating storm left them searching for answers.
“You’re using Mr. Clean on the floor and, you know, we just had no
idea what we were doing,” Michael Rusoff said.
Follow Long Beach Patch on Facebook.
What are the first steps to getting your home back in order? What
insurance companies should we call? These were just some of the questions
the Rusoffs never had to ask before.
Two weeks after Sandy, Rusoff and his friend started to rip out walls
and floors and tossed out all things storm-damaged, including the washer,
dryer, cabinets and furniture. He and his wife then moved down the block on
West Market Street to a friend’s house.
Their next challenge was getting money from the insurance companies. By early
January, more than two months after the storm, the couple finally received a check that hardly met their recovery expenses. Rusoff dipped deeply into his savings and
retirement accounts and put any other money he had toward cleaning and rebuilding his home. While several of his neighbors haven't even started to gut their homes yet, the Rusoffs may return home soon.
“We’re hoping to move back in this month,” Rusoff said earlier in January, noting that he had started to paint his walls. “If we had to wait
for the insurance companies, we wouldn’t be back for a few months.”
The experience for him and Shannon has been, to say the least,
“It’s very emotional and very trying on relationships with
people,” he said. “It’s just been all consuming, losing all your belongings.
They’re just possessions and can all be replaced, but having your home just
completely destroyed — the only thing that makes it easier, in a sense, is
‘misery loves company.’ You know, having almost everyone I know going through
it in some way, shape or form, so you know you’re not going through it alone.”
Rusoff’s friends from Long Beach have moved away as near as Rockville Centre to as far as Connecticut. Many people he knows that have
moved out of town are renters, and he believes they and the homeowners he knows
will all return to the hurricane-battered city.
“The renters can’t wait to get back to town and hopefully buy
something because the market obviously now is in their favor, and the
homeowners are anxious to get their homes back in order and get back to a
normal life,” he said. “I don’t know anybody that says 'I’m not coming back to
Long Beach.'” Be a Follower. Explore and subscribe to Patch groups.
Become a blogger today!
Get started now