Queens family can enjoy home after it was ravaged by 2 hurricanes

Over two terrible years, Mother Nature seemed to direct all her fury at Tim and Caroline Feeney.

The first catastrophe came in 2011 when Hurricane Irene severely damaged the schoolteacher couple’s year-old, newly-renovated house in Broad Channel, Queens.

The second struck a year later when Hurricane Sandy devastated their newly-newly-renovated home five months after Caroline gave birth to their daughter Keira.

But the Feeneys’ story is no longer a tale of woe.

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Their years-long struggle to rebuild has ended with the house they always wanted — complete with a white picket fence and the purple bedroom that Keira, now 4, longed for.

“It was all worth it,” Tim Feeney, 35, told the Daily News days ahead of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.

The Feeneys bought the home — a modest, two-story colonial with a stunning view of Jamaica Bay — in February 2010.

“We knew this was the house right when we saw the view,” said Caroline, 33, a teacher at Waterside School for Leadership in Rockaway Park.

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They finally moved in in March 2011 after renovating the place. Five months later, Hurricane Irene filled their house with roughly 3 feet of water — forcing another renovation.

The Feeneys, now with baby Keira, moved back into the home in April 2012. Then came Sandy.

They spent the night of the storm at his parents’ 12th-floor apartment in Rockaway, which offered an ominous view of Sandy’s fury.

“The cars were moving around the parking lot like toys," said Tim, then a science teacher at St. Ann’s Catholic School in East Harlem. “We could see a glow in the distance from the fires.”

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They piled into one of his parents’ cars the following day and drove as far as they could into their decimated neighborhood. Stepping into their home, Caroline couldn’t believe the destruction.

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“It looked like a washing machine went on in the middle of my home,” she recalled. “I broke down completely and went out to the back of the dock and cried.”

Stripping down what was left of their house proved to be a breeze — thanks to help from a constant flow of friends.

The Feeneys moved into a relative’s studio apartment in Manhattan. Over the next year, they contemplated their next move.

There seemed to be no good options.

“We thought about borrowing money, taking out a loan, foreclosing and walking away,” Tim Feeney said.

They ultimately decided to stay. But now, saddled with a monthly rent, a mortgage and bills, the Feeneys soon found themselves bleeding cash.

Complicating the situation, Tim had started a new job as a Port Authority police officer.

Caroline began the arduous process of applying to the city’s Build It Back program.

Thanks to Caroline’s “brains and persistence,” they were eventually approved for full coverage of their rebuilding costs, Tim said.

The house was demolished in May 2015. Caroline gave birth to their son Brian two months later.

By then, the Feeneys were renting a one-bedroom apartment in Broad Channel.

Keira, who had spent most of her life in cramped apartments, wouldn’t stop talking about how badly she wanted her own purple bedroom.

The Feeneys’ contractor, Arverne by the Sea, promised to finish the job in time for Christmas.

The builders stayed true to their word: Tim and Caroline received the key last Nov. 12.

“I was in disbelief,” Caroline said. “The one thing you really wanted was just to be home. I finally felt like I was home.”

Keira raced through the house. When she got to her room, bathed in purple, she stopped dead in her tracks. Looking around, her eyes lit up.

“My purple room!” she shrieked.

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