Crisfield still in recovery one year after Superstorm Sandy

CRISFIELD, Md. (WJLA) - One year after "Superstorm Sandy" claimed more than 100 lives and unleashed $65 billion in damage along the Eastern seaboard, so much still remains to be done.

Ruthie Fountain will never forget the moment when she saw her home after Sandy.

“I opened the door went into my bedroom that's when I saw all the water,” says the 80-year-old.

1200 homes were flooded and hundreds were destroyed – including hers. Ruthie Fountain had lost everything to the flood.

But on Monday, she sits in a new home built with the help of volunteers from across the country. It is nearing completion and built just for her by church groups from as far away as Rich Rediokop's home of Manitoba, Canada.

He gets emotional when he talks about Ruthie's plight

“We all need a place to stay and a place to call home,” Redikop says. “I can’t imagine living anywhere without a house.”

One year ago, it was bad in Crisfield. Already being hammered by the recession and a sinking seafood industry, much of the town was under water that was chest-deep.

“I've never been afraid for the safety of my community like I was a year ago today,” says resident John Phoebus.

Phoebus, an attorney, stepped up to manage the recovery. About 1,200 homes were flooded. The landmark town dock was ruined.

With the nation's attention focused on New York and New Jersey, where it is expected to take at least another year before life returns to normal, he called for volunteers and they came in droves and are still coming.

Eight homes are now under construction, thanks entirely to charity and volunteers. A new town dock is nearing completion.

However, while some communities are rebuilding, it is estimated that only around 11-percent of Sandy aid money has so far been distributed.

Therefore, cash donations are still needed, and volunteers involved with the long-term recovery says it will a little longer before the town is fully healed.

Fountain counts herself blessed that her home is nearly done.

“They really did a beautiful job,” she says. “They're my friends forever.”

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