Storm damages beaches, homes at Jersey Shore

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Tidal flooding was a big problem over the weekend, along with serious beach erosion and some damage from crashing waves. (WPVI)

At the Jersey Shore it's not about digging out but drying out after this past weekend's storm.

Tidal flooding was a big problem along with serious beach erosion and some damage from crashing waves.

We found crews already out there Monday using heavy equipment to try to repair the dunes near the beach accesses in Holgate. 600 truckloads of sand are being dropped there over the next several days to shore up the dunes at the southern tip of Long Beach Island.

The storm carved 10 to 15 foot cliffs, leaving several homes on the edge. The deck on one house collapsed when the dune underneath was washed out.

Long Beach Twp. Mayor Joe Mancini tells us, "We're going to build a dike about 25 feet wide, go north and south for about a mile and hopefully that might last one northeast high tide."

Holgate homeowner Jack McMaster says, "It shouldn't have happened because beach replenishment should have been here before this. They left and have gone down south again, and here we are again."

In Beach Haven, Kapler's Pharmacy was open for business. Like many other shops, they are still cleaning up after floodwaters made their way into the building.

Gail Jordan of Kapler's Pharmacy says, "We got in yesterday, got out the bleach and the mops in the brooms and swept it all out, and we're almost done."

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno was surveying storm damage along with the Department of Environmental Protection commissioner and other officials.

Lt Gov. Guadagno says, "You can see that the sand is gone. The question becomes, what do we do next because what if, what happens if there's another storm?"

The state's environmental commissioner and many others on LBI are critical of the contractor, Great Lakes, who pulled its beach replenishment equipment out on Christmas Eve to do another project in the south.

New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin explains, "We told them that was a major mistake that nor'easters come through here and a major nor'easter could have taken all these houses with it."

Congressman Frank LoBiondo says prior to the storm he met with Great Lakes and the Army Corps of Engineers, which is supervising the beach replentishment project, about getting the contractor back to New Jersey. He says he'll be putting the pressure back on them.

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Many residents spent the day cleaning up the storm damage after a scary weekend.

Meanwhile, in North Wildwood Karen Badgerow spent much of her day Monday cleaning out her muddy garage on 17th Avenue, trying to figure out what she can salvage.

"We're used to in Northern Michigan 185 inches of snow, and this is a lot worse," she said.

This is her first North Wildwood winter, and she and her husband Larry spent more than 24 hours without power or heat. She showed us her basement that took on about four feet of water - just shy of the flooding that took place during Superstorm Sandy.

Karen explains, "When the water started coming in at 6:30 in the morning on Saturday we looked down the basement stairs and it looked like it was the sinking of the Titanic."

Throughout North Wildwood people were throwing out debris and damaged possessions after a weekend of wild weather.

Officer Joseph Kopetsky of the North Wildwood Police Department pushed a stranded vehicle in frigid water on Saturday. Someone shot video of the heroic act, and it's since been shared on Twitter and Facebook and viewed more than 200,000 times.

But Officer Kopetsky wasn't done there. Another photo taken this weekend was posted to Facebook showing him rescuing a little girl as the water crept up to her family's home.

Officer Kopetsky tells us, "The water was starting to come up. It was inches away from going into the living room. We were just trying to safely get the whole family into the truck. At that point we didn't want to make multiple trips. We just wanted to get everybody in."

Replenishment for the beach in North Wildwood will cost about $10 million. Even more frustrating, the beach there had just been repaired after Hurricane Joaquin hit in the fall.
Related Topics:
weatherweatherblizzard of 2016snowfloodingbeachesn.j. newsLong Beach TownshipNorth Wildwood
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