This week marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
The storm that rocked the east coast has left a long road to recovery.
This time last year Alli McAnic was living three blocks from the beach in Belmar, New Jersey.
"Until the day of the storm, we were all at our house all kind of hanging out and we walked the boardwalk. We saw the waves starting to get bigger. We went back later and the waves honestly must've doubled in size and we were like we've got to get out and that's when the evacuation came for us all to leave," McAnic said.
She was evacuated for 10 days.
"When we finally got back up there we cried, because our house was fine. You could see the water come up to our first stair and then went back. My beach was really lucky," McAnic said.
Thousands of others weren’t so lucky and the bad luck kept coming.
"We got hit by a snowstorm right after. It honestly looked like a zombie apocalypse because no street lights were working, no nothing. It was just a very surreal experience and it seemed like it was going to last forever," McAnic said.
More than 1,700 Red Cross volunteers went out to help with the recovery. One of them lives right here in the Wiregrass.
"The biggest thing for me was that I've already been through a disaster before and responded so I knew what the people were going through," Volunteer Jack Porter said.
Louisiana Native, Jack Porter’s home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
When he heard about Sandy, he says he had to pay it forward.
"I can't think of anything else I'd rather do, that's it. Having the opportunity to help people especially in that situation," Porter said.
After nine months of volunteering in New Jersey, he headed back home to the Wiregrass.
He says the road to recovery is really just starting.
"A year is no time at all it may be several years," Porter said.
"It's not the jersey I used to know, it's not the Jersey Shore I used to know but it’s coming," McAnic said.
Jack says volunteering with the Red Cross, is the best job because it could be the best thing to happen on someone's worst day.
If you'd like to help with on-going sandy recovery efforts visit to redcross.org.
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