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Trying To Save The Summer Season

State, Army Corps Of Engineers outline plans For Barnegat Bay cleanup; debris removal will be done all along New Jersey coastline, Ocean County Administrator says

 

Residents up and down the Jersey Shore have noticed a disturbing trend during the three months since Superstorm Sandy pummeled the coastline - more flooding after relatively minor storms.

Hopefully, things will improve in the next few months as a massive debris cleanup of Barnegat Bay and waterways from Raritan Bay all the way down to the bottom of the state gets underway, Ocean County Administrator Carl W. Block said tonight.

"The target is to have 75 percent of the debris out by June," he said. "While it's an ambitious target, they are trying to make sure there's a summer season."

Block attended both of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's sessions on "wet debris" held at the Ocean County Administration Building Thursday for local and county officials.

What is "wet debris?" Basically it's anything that was funneled into the bay, tidal rivers and even lagoons by the massive storm surge from Superstorm Sandy, Block said.

"They will go after sunken boats, cars, whole houses," Block said. "They hope in three weeks to have barges out there picking up debris."

Once the larger items have been located and removed, the bay will be dredged to remove sand that has shoaled in places it doesn't belong and hinders navigation, he said.

Cleaning up waterways affected by Sandy will be a joint effort between the state and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps will handle the main channels and the Intercoastal Waterway.

The state has assumed responsibility for all other waters, including bays, tidal rivers and even lagoons. The state will go out to bid for three contractors, who will break the state up into 11 sections, Block said.

"The state has assumed full responsibility," he said.

Florida-based AshBritt - a debris removal firm hired by the county in mid-November to do a shared services agreement with municipalities for Sandy-related debris removal - has already done some Barnegat Bay debris removal, Block said.

He expects AshBritt to bid on the bay cleanup project as well. Contractors will use side-scan sonar and high-resolution cameras to map the debris, so bigger items can be easily identified.

"They can even identify a refrigerator in the bay," he said.

County officials have estimated that nearly 1,400 vessels were either sunken or abandoned in our waterways during Sandy. In Mantoloking alone, 58 buildings and 8 cars were washed into Barnegat Bay.

The wet debris removal in Ocean County will probably begin in the most affected areas, like Mantoloking - where a breach obliterated sections of Route 35 and the Mantoloking bridge - and the Ortley Beach section of Toms River, Block said.

Mary February 03, 2013 at 01:46 PM
our home in Lacey off of Cedar Creek had 3 feet of water. Is ranch style and in the family for many years. I purchased it from my mom, now deceased, and have a mortgage. Was built in 1950's and never flooded before. It too now sits as a stripped shell. We are near retirement, and I am handicapped (MS). Loved the fact that I only had one step to get into my house. Now I am V zone and will have to climb a flight of stairs or more to get in. Fema no help thus far, and Flood Insurance money, including getting ICC just won't cover it all. Our bulkhead was compromised too, and that's not covered. This is our primary home. Just don't know what we are going to do!!!
Brick Jerz Mom February 03, 2013 at 05:32 PM
completely agree
Angelo Turello February 03, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Just look at the garbage in front of the commercial properties in Ortley beach vs how well Seaside Heights and Seaside Park and Lavallette have cleaned up for their business owners. Lavallette Mayor took the bull by the horns and made sure his businesses got ready . Toms River Mayor ??ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Angelo Turello February 03, 2013 at 05:50 PM
The lawsuits will be worst than Sandy.
Morty Snurd February 03, 2013 at 09:28 PM
The thing is, if you do not want FEMA backed flood ins. you don't have to raise the house.

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