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Toms River Barrier Island Residents 'Re-Entry' Plan Begins Friday

Toms River Township announces plan to allow Chadwick, Ocean Beach, Normandy Beach residents access to homes

The moment that hundreds of barrier island residents of Toms River have been waiting for will begin tomorrow.

The Township of Toms River announced residents ravaged by Hurricane Sandy on the barrier island will be allowed access for 60 minutes, with different communities assigned to different days of access.

Regardless, residents of such communities as Chadwick Beach, Silver Beach, Dover Beaches, Normandy Beach, Monterey Beach and Ocean Beach communities of Toms River will have to register at the Bellcrest Plaza on Fischer Boulevard and Cattus Island Boulevard.

the township says, has yet to have a plan for re-entry. The above communities, many of which are north of Ortley Beach, will have access Friday, Nov. 9 through Nov. 13.

Residents have clamored for any information for days, as neighboring communities of Lavallette, South Seaside Park, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park were granted earlier access and announced plans to visit their homes and businesses on the barrier island.

Perhaps one of the last towns to release its plans, Toms River Township posted this evening that access would start tomorrow and continue through Nov. 13 in the first phase of access.

The plan:

"We are beginning re-entry into the northern beach areas. Ortley Beach will be scheduled at a later date due to extensive road damage," according to the township.

Friday November 9:

  •  Ocean Beach Unit 1
  •  Ocean Beach Shores
  •  Sunset Manor Shores
  • Registration at 8:30 a.m. Bellcrest Plaza, Fischer Blvd.

Saturday November 10:

  • Monterey Beach
  • Ocean Beach Unit 2
  • Seacrest Beach
  • Registration at 8:30 a.m. Bellcrest Plaza, Fischer Blvd.

Sunday November 11

  •  Ocean Beach Unit 3
  •  Ocean Beach Peninsula (Bayside)
  • Registration at 8:30 a.m. Bellcrest Plaza, Fischer Blvd.

 Monday November 12

  •  Chadwick Beach
  •  Silver Beach
  •  Chadwick Beach Island is not included. Residents there will be scheduled at a later date until bridge is inspected and found to be safe. Please do not respond on this date.
  • Registration at 8:30 a.m. Bellcrest Plaza, Fischer Blvd.

Tuesday November 13

  •  Normandy Shores

  •  Normandy Beach
  •  This is the tentative date for Chadwick Beach Island is November 13.
  • Registration at 8:30 a.m. Bellcrest Plaza, Fischer Blvd.

This access plan is called Phase One. In Phase One, residents will be transported to the barrier island on a Toms River Regional school bus, allowed 60 minutes to gather essential items that can fit in a suitcase on your lap, and then be escorted out. Residents are essentially entering their homes at their own risk, according to the announcement.

Here are the rules for Phase One:

  • In Phase One, there is limited entry to the island for full-time residents only. 
  • Two people per residence and proper identification (drivers license, utility bill etc.) is required.
  • Residents will have approximately 60 minutes to retrieve items that they deem essential to themselves andtheir families.
  • These items will be limited to storage in a carry-on suitcase that can be placed on the resident’s lap upon return.
  • The homes and infrastructure in many areas have been severely damaged.  Residents are reminded to use due caution in and around their residences.
  • Residents WILL NOT be permitted to wander to other areas of their respected association. Anyone found to not be in compliance will be immediately removed from the barrier island.

The schedule for each day will of re-entry will look like this:  

  • 08:30am-09:15am - Registration for Group 1 at Bellcrest Plaza 935 Fischer Boulevard, Toms River.
  • 09:30am Group 1 departs Bellcrest Plaza for the barrier island.
  • 10:00am Group 1 drop off to barrier island.
  • 10:30am-11:30am Registration for Group 2 at Bellcrest Plaza begins
  • 11:30am Group 1 returns from barrier island.
  • 11:45am Transition buses
  • 12:00pm Group 2 departs for barrier island
  • 01:30pm Group 2 returns and daily operations are completed.

Phase Two allows homeowners who are not permanent residents to inspect their property and collect essential personal items. 

Phase Three allows any resident and contractors to winterize and assess damage. 

As part of the plan announcement, Toms River Township released the following message: 

"Toms River Township is dedicated to serve its citizens and will continue to work in conjunction with state and federalagencies to accomplish our goals in a safe and timely manner. Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times,"

The plan leaves out Ortley Beach community, a section of the township which Mayor Tom Kelaher referred to as "Ground Zero."

"At this time the Toms River Police Department is implementing a plan which would enable residents of the Township to access their barrier island homes and businesses. Since the beginning of this event Toms River Township has actedin the best interest of the citizens of Toms River. Toms River Township is proud to report that we have had no loss of life or serious injury since the start of this disaster. We plan to keep it that way, and this is why we will continue tomove forward in an organized fashion regarding entry to this devastated area. We fully understand the frustrationour residents have endured with the inability to view their homes, and we are working diligently to accomplish this goal," according to the township announcement.

Anger and frustration grew as residents begged and flooded town hall, police and the Office of Emergency Management with calls and emails wondering when a plan would come.

Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the number of calls were such that it became a drain on resources as emergency personnel were flooded with calls in the midst of several weather emergencies through today.

stephanie pecchio November 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Steph We were finally allowed to go to our home on Dolphin ave yesterday, couldn't take all of the things we wanted because we WERE ON A BUS. who gave toms river the power to tell me what part of my property i have to leave behind to get infested by mold? i've seen other posts talking abut legal action, has anyone done any research or spoke to an attorney yet? we would also be interested in joining a lawsuit....by the time they let us drive in our stuff will no longer be salvageable!!
stephanie pecchio November 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM
saw that video, complete idiots and very disrespectful, who picked these people? why werent home owners from ortley on that?
grace November 16, 2012 at 12:19 AM
what the heck is that meimei thing someone report that to patch
Project Bluebeam November 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM
It's called spam and you can report it by clicking on "flag as inappropriate".
dainty December 18, 2012 at 08:26 PM
We are going into Ocean Beach, Dec 28, 29, 30. Residents can not get in till the sand is removed. All shovels and BobCats welcomed!! We usually volunteer every Thursday and Friday. There are others groups helping as well. IF you NEED HELP cleaning up, please reach out! We call ourselves, “Weekday Warriors”. We have been clearing out homes for people in need. Most volunteers from the original SurfRiders volunteers! They were our original motivation. We are tying to get every home cleaned and cleared, one home at a time! Please join us! While yes, it is hard work, it is such a rewarding day. We have been clearing out homes of furniture, cabinets, sand, sheetrock and wood floors. Naturally, working as a team, a lot easier and faster! You are truly helping folks that are exhausted and overwhelmed! We work hard but we do share a few laughs! We start going over at 9 and we are off the Island by 3. Thank you and hope to see you!* Joan* on Facebook: Sandy - Weekday Warrior

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