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Superstorm Sandy: Many in Berks recovered one year later

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 25 2013 04:34:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 25 2013 06:06:06 PM CDT

Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in United States history, and it caused widespread damage across the East Coast.

Hurricane Sandy was the second costliest hurricane in United States history, and it caused widespread damage across the East Coast.

The anniversary of the Super Storm's landfall is days away, and some of the hardest-hit areas in Berks County have been rebuilt.

"We heard a loud roar outside and we heard the tree hit through the house," Phil Van Coeur told 69 News in October 2012.

Hurricane Sandy left a path of destruction through Berks County and along Church Lane Road in Exeter Township. 

Massive 90-foot trees fell on top of Van Coeur's home. One room inside was destroyed, and part of the roof was ripped off.

Now, one year later, the house has been put back together. A shed was still damaged in Van Coeur's neighbor's yard, and piles of wood showed the struggle it's been to get back to normal.

"It took awhile for my neighbors on both sides to get their houses repaired," said Joe Santos.

In Wyomissing, it took months and thousands of dollars to fix Dail Richie's home on Wyomissing Boulevard. Sandy's winds sent a tree through her roof and through her daughter's front bedroom.

"We are still doing some minor repairs from the damage, but I would say most of it was completed by February and March," said Richie, whose home is once again picture perfect. "Grass is growing and more sunlight is shining on our house."

Downed trees and power lines throughout the county have been picked up. Berks is pretty much back to normal, but the place where many people in the county vacation is struggling to rebuild. The Jersey shore is still on the path to recovery, and it's still trying to clean up from what the winds and floodwaters destroyed.

One-year later, many people in Berks County are again considering themselves lucky.