Super Storm Sandy One Year Later

Survivors of some of the hardest-hit areas reflect on rebuilding during this difficult year.
5:12 | 10/29/13

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Transcript for Super Storm Sandy One Year Later
We move on to a milestone for countless families across the east coast. It's been one year since super storm sandy hit, changing landscapes and lives. These pictures tell the story. Devastation on the jersey shore, that's seaside heights then and today those homes standing strong. In brick, new jersey, there was then, some progress now but still so much work to do. Our team is back in the storm zone tonight. We begin with ginger zee. Holy -- look at this. Oh my god, it's washing everything away. Reporter: Swallowed, in the horrific floods, the fires. The remorseless waves and wind. Oh, my gosh, look at that. This is all ocean coming over here. The storm surges, the tide is coming up. Reporter: At least 117 lives lost. 650,000 homes damaged or destroyed. Even today, from the air, it is a coastline only slowly coming back. So you can see going along the shore some homes still being rebuilt. Some condemned. Right here, a new house is going in. This time last year, lower manhattan flooded. Today reborn. That roller coaster ripped from the boardwalk. Sandy was truly a super storm. Many hurricanes turn back into the hurricane but sandy guided in part by a jet stream slammed straight into the east coast. Second, size. Sandy was huge. The wind field more than 1,000 miles across piling water from the ocean onto that coast for hours. And third, that epic storm surge, 8 to 10 feet, fueled in part because sandy hit during a full moon, meaning even higher tides than normal. Duns and wider beaches are our best defense but today much of the shore is just as vulnerable. Are we more protected or better off if sandy were to hit now? Right now it's tough. The area with the most damage we still haven't gotten to yet. Reporter: Some of the reason, it took congress almost a year to release relief funds. Out of 48 billion dollars in relief, today only $5.2 billion has been spent. Can it happen again, I think the answer is obvious that yes. Definitely. Reporter: It's so wild to be up close to a home like this that looks like sandy could have happened yesterday. Right next door one of those plowed lots. Behind it a completely knew home, all levels of recovery. It's not just weeks or months but years to come back from a storm like andy. Let's go to amy row bach. She's in hard hit breezy point. Reporter: Ginger, this was one of the hardest hit areas along the eastern sea poord. Residents not only had to deal with high winds and flood waters but also a tremendous fire. Since then 365 days of changes and challenges. Before the storm hit, mary lapera from breezy point was getting ready to hunker down. We're sticking it out. Reporter: Like so many she was preparing for a big storm. Are you going to come see puddles with us? Reporter: At first rain and flooding. It's 6:55 and the power went out. We're officially screwed. Reporter: Then mary's sister joanne spotted a bright light in the distance, the unimaginable. A massive fire began to spread. I'm really anxious. Reporter: Our producers were there describing the horror. It's destroyed it feels like. It's like the apocalypse hit. Reporter: Firefighters braved waters knee deep saving every life in the town. In the end 135 homes burned to the ground, another 220 destroyed. We don't know where they're going to take us. We don't know -- don't know. Our house was just about here. Reporter: Today mary and joanne's home gone. What do you miss the most just about what life was like? Walking around here you would see someone that you knew and you would go to take a half-hour walk and it would take you three hours because you would stop by someone's house. Reporter: Like so many it's been a rough year of picking up the pieces, fighting with insurance companies. Can we rebuild, take out a mortgage, fighting to get money. Reporter: Mary and her family say they will rebuild. You guys are laughing and smiling but I'm sure there have been tearful nights. Definitely. You can't really dwell on -- you can't change. This is upsetting and hurt but you have to smile about it. That's the spirit of breezy. Reporter: Of the 355 homes completely destroyed here, only one has been fully restored, only one family returning. Now it is important to note that there are 38 homes currently under construction so those numbers will continue to rise in the weeks and months to come. George? They still have that breezy spirit. One more note, in the days

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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