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AFTERMATH: Jersey Shore Seeks Relief After Hurricane Sandy

The communities began work on a long relief and cleanup process, even as the grim results of the storm were still being discovered

Many residents sought to put the worst behind them this weekend as they sought relief from the worst ever-recorded storm to slam against the Jersey Shore.

While power returned to most of New Jersey this weekend; Monmouth and Ocean counties remained mostly in the dark, with barely 50 percent of the coastline's communities having any service neary a week after Hurricane Sandy first struck.

New Jersey Natural Gas technicians were making on-the-ground inspections to the company's systems two days after valves were closed to two barrier islands. Embers from fires could still be seen from aerial photography, all near a new inlet that was formed where the Atlantic Ocean breached into the Barnegat Bay, in Mantoloking.

The inspections represent the first step in a "sequential process to restore service," the company said in a statement Saturday.

One-by-one, meanwhile, the lights flickered on for residents of Point Pleasant Boro and other towns, prompting cheers as soon as they realized they regained their electricity after four days of nothing.

In a blog post submitted Saturday evening, Joellen Gillon thanked volunteers from the Ocean City Baptist Church and summed up the feelings of the many who received help.

"They worked tirelessly and with much grace," Gillon writes. "Never forget that community spirit and friendship still exists, and we will pay this kindness forward."

Still, the grim toll of the storm, some say, has yet to be determined.

Police and National Guard continue to stand patrol over the Jersey Shore's once-lavish barrier island communities and resorts. "War zone" was a typical label used by those few who were able to return to Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island, and see what was there.

Word has spread that the death toll could rise once authorities report what they saw when after they visited the storm-mangled homes of people who refused to evecuate, even after they were ordered to do so.

Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch-Ford, meanwhile, has announced a Hurricane Sandy Task Force that will pursue and assist local police in investigating looting, burglary, contractor scams and price gouging.

The announcement came amid growing fears of crimes of opportunity, and the presence of State Police and National Guard in portions of Ocean County.

On Friday, in Toms River's Silverton and Snug Harbor neighborhoods, heavily armed police began stopping every vehicle asking for identification. Non-residents were turned away in devastated parts of Bayville as well.

"With regard to people accused of committing looting, scams, and other storm related crimes against persons and property, I have instructed my assistant prosecutors to consider, as an aggravating factor in charging and bail, recommendations that these crimes are occurring to people rendered particularly vulnerable by an unprecedented natural disaster," she said

A week after the massive coastal storm left historic flooding, life for some in Ocean City, Hoboken, Middlesex County and many other places will begin an attempt at normalcy on Monday - even as they continue to deal with gas rationing and long lines at the pump.

Like many schools throughout the state, Ocean City students will return to classes on Monday morning, and a postponed Halloween trick-or-treating celebration is scheduled for Monday evening.

Others, like Toms River, will stay out for another week.

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in the presidential, U.S. Senate and local elections. Special accommodations will be made in various counties to help people vote early.

Throughout the weekend, the Ocean City community rallied to help themselves and others dig out from the effects of the storm and all the problems it left behind.

A week earlier, on Oct. 29, the marriage of Hurricane Sandy and another massive winter storm system made for a near-direct hit on Ocean City on a full-moon tide. Tide levels were higher than any other ever recorded on the island.

Ocean City was spared the devastation that many shore communities in central and northern New Jersey saw, but the island saw widespread flood damage to homes, businesses, cars and city streets. On Saturday, with a mandatory evacuation order lifted, the cleanup and relief effort began in earnest.

A tractor-trailer from the World Compassion Network based in Warsaw, Ind., pulled up to the Ocean City Tabernacle on Saturday. Partnering with the Coastal Christian Church, the Network's volunteers set up a base of operations at the Tabernacle to distribute relief supplies, including food, water and cleaning supplies.

All along Ocean City - similar to what's being done throughout the Jersey Shore - outside contractors continued the work of removing a thick layer of sand from streets on the north and south ends of the island, and sifting it before returning it to the beach.

At the same time, owners were moving sand from their properties to the streeets.

"Our team members have worked long and hard in the days leading up to, during and after the storm," Mayor Jay Gillian said in a Friday message to the community. "That will continue in the days ahead until our beloved community is fully recovered."

Donna November 04, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Dutch Lane Fire Dept is collecting everything: clothes, blankets, food, toiletries etc
James Hare November 04, 2012 at 06:09 PM
We have all families in our thoughts and prayers. That we all have the courage and strength for the days and weeks, months to come JP Hare Electric 732-237-4978
Susan November 04, 2012 at 08:15 PM
St Pius X church in Forked River is opening its parish center all week from 8 am - 5 pm for a place to charge your phone and get small meals like sandwiches, soup, coffee, etc. If anyone is in need it is another option.
Christina Weaver November 04, 2012 at 10:45 PM
I have 10 qts of chicken rice soup and 2 crockpots. If St Pius X Church or someplace else can use it, I will bring it from Jackson.
Rina Messina November 04, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Anybody needing clothes, food or blankets St. Catherine's on Bray Ave., N. Middletown will be open all week from 9-4.
Project Bluebeam November 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Odd, I don't see any athiest groups organizing any relief efforts...
Rob Andrews November 05, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Anyone that needs jobs done call RDA Construction 732-249-1454. Any clean up or restoration work because of storm damage we will give 3% off the bill. No job too small.
Jay Gee November 05, 2012 at 07:26 AM
THANKS FOR THE OBSERVATION. IT'S TRUE. AND, MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS HAVE PLACES IN SEASIDE HEIGHTS, BUT HAVE NO INFORMATION AT ALL ABOUT THEM, WHEN WE CAN SEE THEM, IF THEY ARE EVEN STANDING. WE KNOW NOTHING. WONDERFUL. WHY ISN'T THERE A TASK FORCE TO GO OUT AND ASSESS THE HOMES AND GET INFO. TO THE OWNERS, ESPECIALLY IF OWNERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO IN AND SEE FOR THEMSELVES. IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE TOWN IS SO, SO, SO CORRUPT THAT THEY BROUGHT THIS ON US? I HOPE THEY LEARN SOMETHING FROM THIS AWFUL EVENT. THE GREED WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I HOPE THAT IT DOESN'T SOUND MEAN, BUT IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE............NOT SHOUTING, JUST EASIER TO SEE....SORRY, DON'T WANT TO UPSET ANYONE.
Jay Gee November 05, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Be glad to contribute, but give me a number to call, and let me know if there is anyone who can pick up items from North Jersey....I'm not able to leave my info. here, but if I set up a temp. email, then you can use that to contact me. I'm sure I can come up with plenty for you.
Jay Gee November 05, 2012 at 07:33 AM
Best not to use energy worrying about certain groups. It's no use sometimes, just no use. Bless those who help. Ask for help for the ones needing help. As for the non-believers, ask forgiveness for them, "as they know not what they do" Blessed Be
Jen Dalessio-Luongo November 05, 2012 at 11:44 AM
My 78 year old father is stuck in his flooded house. He is in Village Harbor Manahawkin. He had seen no help from any govt agency called FEMA they will get back to him. He has no food his cars are totaled. No heat no electric Oh and did I mention someone's boat floated into his house?
Johnjcpa November 05, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Are there atheist groups? Groups that don't require belief in a deity, like volunteer firefighters, emt's, the national guard.
Ronda Cluff November 05, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Local Unitarian Universalist congregations or Humanist groups may be organizing efforts, at least within their own organizations. And there certainly are non-believers within the ranks of fire companies, EMTs, police, other civil servants and charitable people everywhere, not to mention atheist utility workers, carpenters and electricians...in other words, there's a diversity of belief and non-belief in a deity in both the people helping and those who need help.
BN November 05, 2012 at 01:21 PM
So they can organize to take down religious symbols and sue to remove references to God, but they can't do jack for those in need?
Kate Beckanen November 05, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Why aren't you there getting him out you lying sock of dung?!
Christina Weaver November 05, 2012 at 01:40 PM
BN: I wouldn't conclude that people who believe in the Constitution's provision that there must be separation of Church and State as well as the provision that the Government shall establish no religion therefore means that those believers aren't kind and helpful souls. Jen Dalessio-Luongo I am writing from Jackson where I made 1 qts of chicken rice soup. I could take him some of that (warm) and other groceries if no one has gotten to him. Whats his current situation.? I could take him to vote, too.
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress November 05, 2012 at 02:03 PM
If he called the police, they would have evacuated him. If he needs a ride out, let me know. Safety first.
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress November 05, 2012 at 02:10 PM
there is a difference between atheist and non-denominational. I know of no Atheist societies...but I don't know that we can presume that means that they don't exist - but it would seem not.
J.JONES November 05, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Just looking for info Is power back by St.Dominick church and kentwood apts..in bricktown...
Jersey Dane Train November 05, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Princeton and 88 are still out, on same power grid. Power station was still underwater as of late yesterday. We could be in for the long haul I feel >.<
candi dickson November 05, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. -from southern Louisiana
Donna November 05, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Getty gas station Rt 9 & East Freehold Road has NO line & plenty of gas. Getting gas delivery as I write this.
1z2 Hardwood Floors November 05, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Working to recovery NJ! 1z2 Hardwood floors replace hardwood floors, we keep the same prices helping our neighbors call Juan 7326934098 free estimates
Anita Barber November 06, 2012 at 03:15 AM
I have a dear friend who lives at The Pines at Tinton Falls senior living facility. Does anyone know the status of that complex? I have tried several methods trying to contact anyone there, but to no avail.
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Castor November 09, 2012 at 05:42 AM
That's because atheists don't need to form a group and be led by the hand to those that need help. They just go help. They also don't need to be identified and praised for the help they offer. You don't need to believe in an outside power to help people you only have to be human.
Eleanor Glovinsky November 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Looking for family who lived on Amy Dr., Manahawkin. Does anyone know what happened there and how I might locate them? I tried to start a 'necessities drive' here in FL but was told by the Salvation Army here that it is better to donate $$$$$$. I did. EG in FL 11/16/2012
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress November 17, 2012 at 12:30 AM
Sorry to say this, but goods were a better move - the funds are administratively diluted by these organizations - better to contact a local church or school for donation locations - Much of the money donated for the Shore and NY will only be used to replenish reserves for "next time". Not that these are not worthy organizations, but they are cash cows for their admins. Give to a volunteer organization, if you can.
Eleanor Glovinsky November 17, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Am so disappointed; I know what 'admin costs' mean. Knew first hand of Edison, NJ Durham Woods nat. gas explosion in `1994 and Katrina in NOLA .In 1994 I know the position the Red Cross took with 'the next event' attitiude. Am truly disappointed to hear that the Salvation Army misled me. What, if anything, can be done from here if Florida? Found my friends from Manahawkin! What area do you represent?
Frederick John LaVergne for Congress November 17, 2012 at 04:01 AM
They're in my district - I am running as an independent - "Democratic-Republican", for 2014. Democratic-RepublicanParty.org explains all. Glad you were able to find your relatives.

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