Storm Sandy: Margaret's story
29 November 2012 Last updated at 01:42 GMT
Margaret Blood and her family faced storm Sandy on two fronts.
As she watched the storm hit land on television - before the power went down at their home in Bridgewater, New Jersey - they waited for news of their second home on the Jersey Shore.
"All we knew was that Ortley Beach was considered ground zero," she says.
After three days without power, they received news that although the holiday home they bought last year was still standing, the ensuing flood had inundated the property with 3ft (1m) of water.
The process of tearing out carpets, demolishing walls and removing the electrical cabling from the ground floor is a "heartbreaking" one, she says, but it is an experience that has brought the family together.
"Today is my husband's birthday", she says, laughing, "and, you know, family comes together. It's been a wonderful experience, in that sense, for us."