Ocean County officials work to fight beach erosion after storm

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Officials in Toms River, Ocean County, say it'll take about a week, and thousands of truckloads of sand to stabilize the dunes in Ortley Beach. (WPVI)

Officials in Toms River, Ocean County, say it'll take about a week, and thousands of truckloads of sand to stabilize the dunes in Ortley Beach.

Those dunes were all but obliterated in this week's nor'easter.

The first of 2,000 truckloads of sand was being dumped Thursday in Ortley Beach, which had 85 to 90 percent of its temporary dune destroyed by the nor'easter on Monday.

Violent waves from the storm ate away the dune all the way back to the boardwalk, leaving the beachfront section of Toms River vulnerable to flooding.

"It's extremely urgent, and if we don't do this restoration work quickly and there's another storm, the next storm will be in the street I'm afraid," said Mayor Tom Kelaher (R- NJ).

The township has contracted to bring in 30,000 cubic yards of sand to create a temporary dune half a mile long. It's needed because of the current state of the entire length of the Ortley Beach front.

"I mean I lost my house in Sandy and now this again... but they need to do something permanent about this, can't do this every year," said Pat Norman of Ortley Beach.

It'll cost half a million dollars to replace the sand and the beach crossovers damaged in the storm.

"Sad. Devastating for this to happen again in Ortley. They were wiped out once before," said Janet Hazler of Seacrest Beach.

The Army Corps of Engineers is set to begin a beach replenishment project in Ocean County this spring. It's supposed to start north of Silver Beach, another section of Toms River, that suffered serious dune damage. But the mayor thinks, given the situation, Ortley Beach is where they should begin.

"Anytime a nor'easter or if God forbid we get another Sandy, you don't even want to think about it really," said Christy Yuhas of Wood-Ridge.

"Army Corps Of Engineers is supposed to come put that wall through, so that'll be a big help when that's done," said Walt Malinowski of Toms River.

"If we don't do it, we've got all these homes here, all these ratables. You know the beaches here in Jersey are the lifeblood of the state, the tourism is so important," said Mayor Kelaher.

And that is why the mayor says trucks will line up and dump sand here until the dune is repaired - at least temporarily.
Related Topics:
newsnew jersey newsbeachesnor'easterToms River Township
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