Homeowner struggles after superstorm Sandy

Staten Island resident6 Pedro Correa survived the storm with his life, but his home is in ruins
CBS News

(CBS News) NEW YORK - Another bill languishing in Congress is the emergency funding for states ravaged by superstorm Sandy. The Senate passed $60.4 billion in aid Friday but the House has yet to act. Some Republicans say it's too much money. But nine weeks after sandy hit New York, the need for help is immense.

When hurricanes or floods threatened Pedro Correa's house in the past, somehow it always survived.

But as Sandy belted Staten Island two months ago, Correa knew right away this storm was different.

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"I looked out the window and I see my car, it was moving," he said. "I said, 'Wow, that wind must really be ripping.' And then I looked closer -- it was floating."

Correa had already evacuated his wife and two children. He and his brother were trying to save the house. Sandy gave them no chance.

"Out of the corner of my eye," said Correa, "I see my neighbor's house floating, and it crashed into mine and knocked it off the foundation."

To escape the house, Correa and his brother turned the dining room table into a raft. When it broke, they jumped to another housing floating by and landed in a nearby marsh. His house wound up there too.

"It was an amazing night," said Correa. "You gotta feel the hand of God in that. You really do. You shouldn't survive that. There's four fatalities on the next block over."

The Correa family now rents an apartment a few blocks away. But he comes to the site regularly looking for mementos of his former life.

Besides a few photos Correa has recovered his wife's wedding dress and his son's christening outfit, but nothing else. He knows they will never live here again.

"That seawall is gone," he said. "Without that seawall, we have no protection from the ocean. This nearly killed me and nearly killed my brother. To rebuild there would be irresponsible at best."

Correa still owes $200,000 on a house that is worthless. His only hope for avoiding bankruptcy is a government buyback. But that process could take one to five years.

To find out how you can help the Correa family, visit this Web site.