The Klich family has been here for 22 years. “This is my life,” Pat says through tears, gesturing at the pile of water-logged garbage. Her husband defied the township’s evacuation orders and stayed behind in the house. He ran upstairs when the seawater burst through the door, but then realized that he didn’t shut the gas off. “By the time I came back,” he says, “the rip tide was crazy.” The tide yanked him out the door and threw him into a telephone pole across the street. “My back is killing me,” he says. “The water just came up. It was so fast.”
Like many other residents, the Kliches heard that President Obama was here, or is coming. They say they haven’t seen a politician, a newspaper reporter or a disaster relief representative from the outside. The National Guard is there to deter looters.
“Nothing’s being said about this town,” says Stacey Klich, 23, one of the Kliches’ daughters. “I know it’s a small town, but its good people.”
“They’re only talking about the areas that bring in money,” says her sister, Jen.
“I want to say something,” says Pat. “The cops in this town and the first responders in this town, are the bomb … they’re being kind to us, and not nasty. I just wanted to say that in case no one else does.”
“We have more than some people, and we’re going to rebuild,” she adds. “Just someplace else.”
Follow senior writer Tara Murtha on Twitter: @taramurtha