Waiting Continues In Ortley; Buses Continue For Other Toms River Barrier Island Communities
Calls complaining about access creating additional problems, officials say
As residents of some portions of the barrier island gain access to their homes, for those who live in Ortley Beach, the wait continues.
And calls demanding access -- borne of overwhelming anger and frustration -- are creating additional problems, Toms River officials say on the township's website.
In a post titled, "Not everyone can be first -- Town Hall and Police inundated with callers," officials urged residents to stop the barrage.
"Please do not call or email multiple times demanding access," the statement says. "Complaining to public officials will not get you into your homes faster. You are tying up resources when we need to be focusing on progress. A plan is in place to provide access to homes, on a street-by-street, house-by-house basis."
"What you think you see on the internet, or hear from friends, does not mean that there is truly a clear path and that there is not a sinkhole on your street," the statement said.
In the Ortley Beach section, Police Chief Michael Mastronardy will let residents know what streets will be allowed in first, and this information will be posted on the township website at www.TomsRiverTownship.com. People can also sign up for the reverse 911 system, as well, to be notified.
For residents of the other barrier island sections of Toms River -- Ocean Beaches, Sunset Manor Shores, Monterey, Seacrest and Ocean Beach Peninsula -- the entry program went smoothly. Full-Time residents of Chadwick Beach, Chadwick Beach Island and Silver Beach will be allowed in on Monday, while full-time residents of Normandy Beach and Normandy Shores will be allowed in on Tuesday.
Business owners are allowed into their buildings during Phase One at the beach where the business is located.
Phase Two will be for part-time residents to go into their homes for 1 1/2 hours to get important items.
Phase Three is for all owners to spend ample time with contractors, insurance adjusters and winterize homes.
All dates for these phases will be announced soon, officials said.
A team of engineers has been inspecting properties daily. There are many homes, unfortunately, where access to the property will not be permitted.
PELICAN ISLAND full-time residents will be able to go over the bridge, with their own cars, to retrieve belongings, winterize, meet with contractors and start the clean up process. You must have proof of residency ready so it will not cause a traffic issue on the highway. You will be able to escort a contractor with you. The governor's evacuation orders are still in effect, but access will be permitted from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. since there is still no gas, power, or utilities to that area. The Pelican Island area suffered minimal damage and all roadways are cleared of debris.
Police checkpoints have been moved back to allow you easier access to your homes. The time limits imposed are from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. until further notice and will be strictly enforced.
"Together, the Toms River, Berkeley Twp. Police Dept., and the Office of Emergency Management have fought tirelessly for this and we need your cooperation adhering to the time constraints," Toms River officials said.