“Three years ago, when Superstorm Sandy hit our coast, people lost their lives, homes and businesses were destroyed, and local infrastructure was devastated. I will never forget my first moments on the ground touring the damage Sandy wrought in New Jersey – like the homes that were battered to the ground in Union Beach and the whole business section on Bay Avenue in Highlands that was under water.
“I knew then that I needed to begin the hard work to bring the necessary support and resources to our state to help New Jersey rebuild, and that is why I fought hard in Congress to pass the Sandy relief package and to secure the aid needed to help victims put their businesses, homes and lives back together.
“I promised that I would keep fighting with you until we achieved a full recovery. The strides we have made over the course of the last three years are inspiring. It has not been easy, but I am encouraged to see residents returning to their homes, businesses reopening their doors, and construction under way throughout our communities.
“Yet, three years later the work is not nearly done, and the recovery has not happened as quickly or efficiently as it should. We still have homes to repair and businesses to bring back. We must not allow these challenges to bring despair, but rather they should fill us with hope and refocus our resolve and efforts on the work left to be done.
“While we continue to recover from Sandy, we must also look ahead to ensure we are better prepared for future storms. With resources made available by the federal Sandy Aid Package, buyouts of homes in Sayreville and Woodbridge have brought relief to homeowners who have repeatedly suffered and struggled to put the pieces back together after each flood. With the aid package, the Army Corps of Engineers has made great progress on improving our coastal infrastructure. Beaches from Sea Bright to Asbury Park have been replenished, while critical flood control projects in the Bayshore have moved forward. These, and other successful coastal infrastructure projects, have made our state more resilient and will help protect our communities from future storms. As we look ahead to the next three years, and the years and decades beyond, we have an opportunity before us – an opportunity to continue bringing our communities and our state closer to full recovery, and making it a better, stronger and more resilient place.
“As I visit towns throughout the district, I am always inspired by the resilience of the people of New Jersey. Their toughness and spirit is not only the motivational force behind my efforts to fight for Sandy aid in Congress, but helps guide all of the work I do in Washington on behalf of our state’s residents and communities.”