Mantoloking, home of a 20-foot-deep inlet that formed after the ocean met Barnegat Bay during Superstorm Sandy, should have its utilities restored in February but may not repopulate until the summer, officials said.
The borough's governing body reorganized Monday afternoon and provided insight into the barrier island town's rebuilding plans. Homeowners packed the auditorium at the G. Harold Antrim Elementary School in Point Pleasant Beach, where the meeting was held.
The breach where the inlet formed has been repaired, Route 35 has been rebuilt and repairs to sewer lines have been completed, said Borough Engineer Lawrence Plevier.
Water system repairs have also been completed and the water is safe to drink, he said.
The next step is fully restoring electricity to the entire town, which could occur by the end of February once the areas where the ocean breached are re-energized, according to JCP&L.
As of Jan. 7, the National Guard has exited the town, and 27 New Jersey State troopers will enforce re-entry protocols and curfews, which will remain in effect.
Borough officials said as many as 200 homes may have to be demolished, and they will look at demolitions as one large, town-wide project rather than one-by-one projects.
Repopulation will probably not occur – due to safety issues having to do with unstable homes and ongoing demolition activity – until most of the exposed homes that need to be demolished are taken down.
Mayor George Nebel said officials are confident that repopulation will be possible by summer, however, and there is a chance that it could be even earlier.