The Jersey Shore has a new sound for the summer – cranes and bulldozers – mixed in with the sound of the surf and seagulls overhead.
In Mantoloking, workers have begun demolition on the first fifty homes damaged by hurricane Sandy. All 521 homes in this small community were either damaged or destroyed by the storm on October 29, 2012.
A home that was floating in Barnegat Bay was being torn down by crews where it came to rest after the storm up against the Mantoloking Bridge where it has been sitting for six months. This was on Thursday, by Friday morning the last boards were beings scooped up by a huge crane.
For those homes still on land, demolition will begin next week which marks an important milestone in the recovery of Mantoloking.
Borough spokesman Chris Nelson state, “We have 50 homes that will be coming down in the next 45 days.” “We hope that will provide a sense of closure for a lot of families, as well as a chance for them to move forward with recovery.”
Breaking loose from its foundation during the storm, the brown wood-shingled house (one of 58 to meet the same fate) wound up in the bay sitting near a new channel cut by the storm surge. This new channel extended from the ocean to the bay and practically cut the town in half which necessitated an enormous construction emergency plan for damage repair.
Along with at least two others, a gray house sitting next to where the floating house had been was among the first scheduled to be torn down next week. These were delayed by the air quality monitoring team because of fear that asbestos particles might be set loose during demolition and then later in the week, heavy rains delayed the process even further because heavy equipment couldn’t get close enough to the homes to tear them down since the ground was too soft.
The bourough’s future is tinkering on the brink as it is, so Mantaoloking officials are hoping that its residents will feel less stressed and more hopeful once many of the storm-wrecked homes are torn down and the remains carted away.
During his tour of America, Britain’s Prince Harry will visit the borough as part of the Jersey shore spots he is scheduled to see. A brief walking tour of Barnegat Lane where many storm wrecked homes remain – the street running along the borough’s bay front – part of his scheduled appearances.