Weekend weather takes heavy toll on NJ beaches

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All of the wind and rain we've been through over the past few days has really taken a toll on the beaches at the Jersey shore. (WPVI)

All of the wind and rain we've been through over the past few days has really taken a toll on the beaches at the Jersey shore.

The power of the storm waves scoured away parts of the existing dunes on the beach near Scott Avenue in Holgate, leaving towering cliffs and dune fences destroyed. But local officials say it could have been a lot worse.

Long Beach Township Mayor Joe Mancini says, "Damage? Nothing other than migrating sand. You know, cut beaches and whatever, but no damage to homes or personal property."

One of the storm's victims was a brand new $230,000 handicap access ramp in Beach Haven Terrace, completed just last week by the Army Corps of Engineers. It's now buried in several feet of sand.

Beachfront homeowner Catherine Cain says it was like a blizzard of sand during the storm, covering every window in her house.

Cain says, "You couldn't even face north at all - northeast, it was all blowing through here. It was so strong sometimes that it was pushing me over."

Charlotte Novak of Lansdale, Pa. tells us, "There's dunes where there weren't dunes. I was amazed because the dunes have a sand on top of them."

Bulldozers were out on the beach in Holgate Monday trying to move some of that sand back onto the beach.

Holgate resident Suzanne McNab says, "Our dunes have not been repaired yet, so we're really looking forward to getting that done. So, it's just a scary thing."

Last week Governor Christie blasted towns like Margate that are fighting in court state plans to build continuous dunes along New Jersey's 127 mile coastline. Margate has a seawall protecting it that local leaders say works fine. But the governor says Margate, and others who won't sign easements, are jeopardizing neighboring towns.

Christie said, "If this hurricane had come to shore the damage that would have been done to lives and property in Margate, I hope it's worth the vanity act that you're all engaging in."

Officials had to suspend beach replenishment operations on Long Beach Island before the storm and the barges that pump the sand haven't returned yet because the water is still too rough. So, despite some significant beach erosion, officials say, by and large, they think they fared well.

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