TODAY

TODAY   |  May 24, 2013

Superstorm Sandy recovery still a work in progress

As the Jersey Shore kicks off the summer season this Memorial Day weekend, there has been much rebuilding success, but there is still a long way to go to restart the area’s economic engine. TODAY’s Matt Lauer reports.

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>>> as the folks down in oklahoma continue to recover from those deadly tornadoes they may want to look to the jersey shore for an idea of what lies ahead. superstorm sandy did about $40 billion worth of damage. recovery is still under way. we'll talk to new jersey's governor chris christie about that in a moment but first a look back at the last seven months. it was a storm for the record books. sandy killed dozens, forced thousands to flee and wrecked nearly 350,000 homes along the jersey shore alone. while residents are fiercely determined to restore the shore the recovery has seen challenges. governor chris christie recently faced the frustration.

>> i lost a house in northern beach. we feel like the stepchild. look at it over there. have you seen it?

>> i've seen it.

>> it's the same as six months ago.

>> the problem is everyone has to decide what they're going to do with their own homes. i can't decide and when they're going to knock them down and try to rebuild.

>> reporter: some homeowners say insurance money has been slow to arrive and the remapping of the flood zones may discourage rebuilding but above all this area recognizes the need to restart its economic engine. the state features more than 130 miles of majestic coastline. last year tourism brought in $19 billion.

>> people know the boardwalk is back, it will be back here memorial day weekend .

>> reporter: seaside heights mayor says it's more than just business.

>> we're putting it back together for all the people who have been here and have the memories of coming here and all of the new memories that will be formed.

>> reporter: new memories formed as the boardwalks return, standing as a symbol of hope for the jersey shore and a promise