Storm preps in NJ community include leaf bales

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Some unique berms are being tested as a way to hold back the tide and halt flooding in one Jersey shore community. (WPVI)

Some unique berms are being tested as a way to hold back the tide and halt flooding in one Jersey shore community.

They are 3,000 pound blocks of baled leaves, and the pilot project is getting some impressive results. Little Egg Harbor Township's Public Works Superintendent Patrick Donnelly gives them high marks.

"These bales here saved our roadway from being washed away is it did in Sandy," said Donnelly.

The bales are set up at the end of Radio Road in Mystic Island, one of the areas most vulnerable to flooding.

Donnelly says the leaves seem to stand up better than concrete blocks, which can shift and come apart.

They certainly held their own while during several high tides that battered the shore two weeks ago during the blizzard.

"I think they're just able to take a little bit more of the pressure from the wave action on a regular basis," Donnelly said.

Donnelly says that saved $10,000 to $15,000 on road repairs from flood damage. A company called Nature's Choice in North Jersey makes the bales, which would ideally become a "living" berm by planting seagrass inside to make them even stronger.

We caught up with some residents who have been checking on the bales.

"It didn't flood here at all, but on our street it did because we didn't have this. So, I think it's a great idea," said Ken Riddle.

"I think it did more than it was expected to do and it's obviously saved the land around here, so it's doing its job," said Ted Kielb.

Donnelly said he was contacted over the weekend by the Army Corps of Engineers, expressing interest in the bales.
Related Topics:
weathernew jersey newswinter stormsnow stormLittle Egg Harbor Township
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