As Rebuilding Begins in Brick, So Do Checkpoints and Looting Worries
Checkpoints to be set up in various neighborhoods
Brick residents have started to rebuild.
A few days after Hurricane Sandy washed ashore, Brick residents who lost everything – down to their own beds and mattresses – began the long and costly process of rebuilding their homes and their lives.
Some were publicly resilient. A boat laying in the middle of Drum Point Road in the Shore Acres section had a banner hanging from its T-top: "We Will Fish Again," it said.
Other Brick residents, still out of power, focused on the simple things in life.
"It feels so good to just get warm, have something to eat and watch TV again," a woman at Bubbakoo's Burritos on Brick Boulevard told a reporter around lunch time Thursday.
The restaurant had become something of a gathering place, with staff members welcoming regulars and tempting newcomers with special prices. The free Wifi Internet access was welcome by most.
But on the minds of many Brick residents, as well as township police, was the possibility of looting in the face of homeowners being displaced by houses rendered uninhabitable due to flooding and wind damage.
Brick Police Sgt. Keith Reinhard said Thursday night that the police department would set up checkpoints at the entrances to the Cherry Quay, Shore Acres and Baywood neighborhoods.
Only residents with identification that proves they live in the neighborhood will be let in, he said.
The department has already received a couple reports of potential looting or burglaries, he said.
Many Ocean County police departments have been echoing similar concerns and have taken similar reports.
The barrier island neighborhoods are being patrolled by National Guard troops, as well as the Coast Guard and marine police, to ensure looters do not try to access the island by boat.
There are also still widespread safety concerns on the barrier island, Reinhard said.
"That is totally inaccessible to any civilian homeowners, anything like that," said Reinhard. "It's stlll way too dangerous over there."
Reinhard said 129 National Guard troops are in Brick, with between 20 to 30 also patrolling Bay Head. The troops will be deployed to both mainland and barrier island neighborhoods.
"They have been very helpfu," said Reinhard. "A great bunch of people and they have been doing a great job."