Bolivar County Emergency Management Agency Director Bill Quinton has been proudly representing Bolivar County in the cleanup efforts since he arrived in Monmouth County, N.J., at the beginning of the month.
"Things are going well and we continue to make assessments on the proper way to carry out the recovery process," said Quinton on Tuesday.
A report in the Huffington Post estimated that Sandy's economic damage could exceed $50 billion, making it the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, right behind Hurricane Katrina.
Quinton said the destruction is so severe that it will take years before restoration is completed in some areas.
"You never see as quick of a recovery as you want in these situations," he said. "Unfortunately rehabilitation doesn't happen in a day. It's not physically possible.
"Some of the areas were devastated and it's going to take a long time for them to recover — maybe even five years in some spots."
Over 190 people were reportedly killed along the storm's path that impacted seven countries.
To make matters worse, a nor'easter storm added to the woes of the New York/New Jersey region on Nov. 6 by dumping snowfalls ranging from two inches to more than a foot in some areas.
"The storm wasn't as bad as it could have been where we are," said Quinton. "It melted after two days."
Despite all the hardship from Sandy, Quinton has enjoyed playing a supportive role and has bonded well with locals and other response crews from around the country.
"The people up here have been a joy," he said. "It's not like the movies where people are harsh and cold — these are a bunch of good people."
Quinton will return to Cleveland on Nov. 21 after more than two weeks in the region.
To help victims of Hurricane Sandy, donations to the American Red Crossmay be made by visiting www. redcross.org/charitable-donations, or by sending the text REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation.