Though Northeastern Pennsylvania was largely spared the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, some residents still are facing unanswered questions with property they own along the New Jersey shore.
We still really don't know, said Barbara Williams, of Dallas. We were looking at aerial photos … and the building still looks intact, but everything around it is devastated.
Williams, vice president of the Richard C. Williams Insurance Agency in Wilkes-Barre, said her family has owned a home on Beach Haven on Long Beach Island for 50 years. They have to wait at least 10 more days before the island is accessible so they can survey damage.
There's no way of knowing. We were there 10 days ago (to close it at the end of season), walking on the beach, and it was beautiful. Now … we expect at least 2 feet of water.
Williams said that as long as the two-story house is still standing, contents aren't a worry. It's the structure where her family has spent 50 years making memories she's most worried about. Flood insurance will take care of the rest.
We're hoping, Williams said. For now, only the National Guard is permitted on the island, she said.
Darren Snyder, a broker for the Marilyn Snyder Real Estate, like Williams, owns a house in the Brant Beach area of Long Island Beach and has also been trying to locate aerial photos to assess damage at his family's Cape Cod-style home.
Snyder said that because the island has been shut down, there's no way for him to know the kind of damage he's facing.
We're three houses from the bay and eight from the ocean, Snyder said. The governor (of New Jersey) talked specifically about Brant Beach being the hardest hit. It's disconcerting at best.
Next week Snyder hopes to visit the house his family has vacationed in for more than 30 years. .
Thank God it's the off-season, Snyder said, noting damage wouldn't have been all the island encountered. There are not as many people there.
On the north end of Long Beach Island, the Martin family was spared.
I can't believe the good fortune I had. I'm so thrilled, said Joan Martin, of Trucksville. I'm so pleased the Lord spared me.
Martin has visited Barnegat Light on the island for 45 years and has owned the current house she uses for 22 years.
She has been in touch with a first responder on the island who also takes care of maintenance at her home who said all is intact.
It's a miracle to me that I escaped with no damage, Martin said.
She said she continually watched news and weather reports and feared her home sustained damage because news reports didn't indicate what was happening on Barnegat Light.
Martin said her brother-in-law and sister-in-law also own houses just a few blocks away, and they were spared from Hurricane Sandy's wrath as well.
It's a huge relief for the whole family, Virginia Crossin, Martin's niece, said. But, we won't have a complete piece of mind until we see the house.
Crossin said her parents built the house they currently use in 1979, and the family uses it year-round.
Since the storm began, Crossin said she has spent a lot of time trying to get information on Barnegat Light, and remained glued to the computer and news stations to find some peace of mind.
Crossin said the whole family will likely go check on the house as soon as they can and to help others in need.
It's surprising the number of people who love Long Beach Island, Crossin said. And they are very concerned for us.