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Early February Date Announced for Ortley Beach Repopulation

Ortley Beach has not yet been allowed to repopulate because of utility and road issues

Some Ortley Beach residents will be allowed to move back to their homes in early February under a plan announced Tuesday by Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher.

The township has prepared and submitted a letter to the Ocean County Office of Emergency Management requesting that the state of emergency declared for Hurricane Sandy be lifted and Ortley residents with all utilities in service at their properties be allowed to return home at 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 4. 

"Through meetings with New Jersey American Water, Toms River Municipal Utilities Authority, New Jersey Natural Gas and JCP&L, Mayor Kelaher has been assured that there service will be restored for most properties in the west and middle sections of Ortley by Feb. 4," reads a statement released by the township. "Portions of the eastern section of Ortley Beach from Route 35 north to the ocean may not ready for full service, although the water company has stated that there is potable drinking water for all homes that are connected to NJAW."

Some utility repairs continue to be made, though most work is coming to completion. According to the township, most of the west and middle zones are ready for sewage flow. The system is operational even though work continues on rebuilding three major pumping stations.

Areas of Ortley that can safely accept gas service have been re-pressurized. Repair to certain isolated gas mains in Ortley and resetting the meters will be complete by Feb. 1, with the exception of some properties east of Route 35 North.

JCP&L is working with the township on its master plan to rebuild their infrastructure for portions of Ortley east of Route 35 North; however the utility has finished restoring power to properties in Ortley that can safely accept service. 

Township officials said that residents should make sure they have had the proper inspections before their utility services are turned on and are advised to contact the providers with any reconnection issues. 

Kelaher said that residents should check with the township website's Ortley section to ensure they find the correct information regarding returning home. 

Other barrier island residents were allowed to return home on Jan. 4, but officials said Ortley is not ready for full-time residents until utility and road repairs are completed. 

PhilApap January 16, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Why can't tom's river hire the Army corps of engineers to replace the dunes in Ortley. The dunes built by them in Avalon,Cape May etc. Helped tremendously during the storm. These areas had little or no damage. That is a great testimonial to these engineers.
Johnjcpa January 16, 2013 at 10:19 PM
The army Corps of Engineers doesn't actually do the work, they hire contractors to do the actual work. Before they can start building dunes, they will need to get enough sand by dredging. I doubt there are enough contractors available to do a third of the work needed on the East Coast this year, how they determine where to start first will be based on a lot of factors, but not having easements will not help.
PJ Ortley January 17, 2013 at 03:53 AM
If you don't understand why the Army Corps of Engineers has not been asked to rebuild the beaches in NJ you must be living on another planet. Just read any newspaper or ask any Ortley beach resident. Toms River (and all towns) require all beachfront property owners to sign an easement - otherwise neither TR nor the Corps is allowed to work on private property. So far TR and the property owners are miles apart on any agreement.
A Resident January 17, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Mantoloking still worried about non-residents accessing the multiple unsecured houses.
Michael Capo January 17, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Everyone needs to understand the ridiculous conditions Toms River attaches to their "easement". They want the private beaches to give them their beaches but they insist the associations continue to pay for insurance, maintenance and lifeguards. Would anyone in their right mind open their backyard to the general public and agree to continue to pay the maintenance and insurance an continue to assume all the liabilities attendant to the public accessing your back yard? Toms River only tells half the story.


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