Burt and Jeanne Metz of Queens Surprised With Rebuilt Home After Hurricane Sandy

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Hurricane Sandy victims Burt and Jeanne Metz view their rebuilt home.

Burt and Jeanne Metz (pictured above) lost their home in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens when Hurricane Sandy struck that New York City borough. But now, thanks to a group of humanitarian volunteers, the couple has a rebuilt one.

More than 300 volunteers with the Virginia-based Operation Blessing International completely gut-renovated and rebuilt the Metzes' home, which had been flooded with 4 feet of water -- and the couple had no idea they were doing it. Burt and Jeanne were staying in Brooklyn during the humanitarian effort. The Metzes' home is one of more than 400 in Queens that the volunteers have worked on in rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, New York's Daily News reported.

Hurricane Sandy victims Burt and Jeanne Metzes' rebuilt home."Unbelievable. My heart is pounding -- look at this," Jeanne Metz said in a CBS New York video of her home's unveiling this week.

"We worked on this house for about three weeks -- from studs to where it is today -- so we hope you really like it," a volunteer told the couple as they got a first glimpse at their remodeled house.

The Hurricane Sandy rebuilding project cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete, according to ABC News, and is the only one of the 400 homes the group has worked on that had to be entirely reconstructed.

"We've never built a house like this," U.S. Disaster Relief Director Jody Gettys told ABC News. "The Metzes are so appreciative and truly an inspiring couple."

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Hurricane Sandy Destruction -- An Epic Storm
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Burt and Jeanne Metz of Queens Surprised With Rebuilt Home After Hurricane Sandy

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Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant in New York. The storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. It ranks high among other recent natural disasters that have destroyed urban areas.

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Caleb Lavoie, 17, of Dayton, Maine (front), and Curtis Huard, 16, of Arundel, Maine, leap out of the way as a large wave crashes over a seawall on the Atlantic Ocean during the early stages of Hurricane Sandy in Kennebunk, Maine.

Sailboats rock in choppy water at a dock along the Hudson River Greenway in New York.

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A fire fighter surveys the smoldering ruins of a house in Breezy Point. More than 100 homes were destroyed in a fire which swept through the oceanfront  community during Hurricane Sandy.

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In this aerial photo, people survey destruction left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.

Jim Margiotta digs sand out from under his garage door, which was caused by Hurricane Sandy, in Long Beach, N.Y.

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Heavy surf caused by Hurricane Sandy buckles Ocean Avenue in Avalon, N.J.

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A man walks by the remains of part of the historic Rockaway boardwalk in Queens, N.Y., after large parts of it were washed away during Hurricane Sandy. 

Waves break in front of a destroyed amusement park wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.

This aerial photo shows burned-out homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens, N.Y., after a massive fire that was fanned by Hurricane Sandy's winds.

Robert Connolly, left, embraces his wife, Laura, as they survey the remains of the home owned by her parents that burned to the ground in Breezy Point. At right is their son, Kyle.

Andrew Seemar, 13, removes items from a room as he and his mother, Kathleen, clean up after their home in Brick, N.J., was flooded during Hurricane Sandy.

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Olivia Loesner, 16, hugs her uncle, Little Ferry Deputy Fire Chief John Ruff, after she was rescued from her flooded home in Little Ferry, N.J.

The remains of homes destroyed by a fire that swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood in New York City's borough of Queens.

Brian Hajeski, 41, of Brick, N.J., reacts as he looks at debris of a home that washed up on to the Mantoloking Bridge in Mantoloking, N.J., the morning after Hurricane Sandy rolled through.

Virgen Perez, left, and her husband, Nelson Rodriguez, center, look around their home which was flooded by Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J.

Johnny Adinolfi is comforted by neighbor John Vento, right, as he stands in what was once the living room of his home in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Massapequa, N.Y.

People take photos of water filling the Bowling Green subway station in Battery Park in Manhattan as New Yorkers cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

This satellite image shows the monstrous size of Hurricane Sandy before it made landfall on the East Coast.

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Burt and Jeanne, who have owned their Breezy Point home for 30 years, began to cry as they took in the sight.

"It's a complete new beginning," Jeanne Metz told the Daily News. "I'm just really glad that things can go back to normal again. ... We were desperate, and now we have a whole new life."

"When you're old, it's tough," Burt Metz added. "We are just really happy. This is absolutely gorgeous."

The Metzes fared better than the owners of the historic Princess Cottage in Union Beach, N.J. That home became a symbol of Hurricane Sandy after the storm cut it in half. Efforts were being made to restore it, but eventually, the Princess Cottage was torn down.



See also:
Should You Buy a Standby Generator for Your Home?
How To Protect Your Home From Damage in a 'Perfect Storm'
Homeowners Insurance 101: What You Need to Know

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