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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.

John November 12, 2012 at 02:52 AM
This is what the few of us Ortley Beach residents witnessed this morning on Rt37. After 2 weeks and no access to our properties. Your tax dollars hard at work. A humiliating bus ride to your property for 1 hour to grab 1 suit case. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=em-share_video_user&v=-g7MYfleX-o&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-g7MYfleX-o%26feature%3Dem-share_video_user
John November 12, 2012 at 03:08 AM
This is what a few of us Ortley Beach residents witnessed this morning on Rt37. After 2 weeks and counting, NO ACCESS TO OUR PROPERTIES. With all the tax dollars that TR milks from us. We get a humiliating school bus ride to our properties for 1 hour with 1 suitcase to remove our belongings. http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?feature=em-share_video_user&v=-g7MYfleX-o&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D-g7MYfleX-o%26feature%3Dem-share_video_user
JOHNNY Done it November 12, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I fully understand everyones pain in being able to access your properties that you have worked hard for & pay taxes on..There is unforseen dangers still out there roads that are unsermined from storm drain pipes or utilities..Chemicals from pooll & auto which resort in a hazardous materials issue,,The authorities gave warning to evacuate some people listened by staying , some are injured or in body bags They are trying to prevent more ,you take the issue in to your own hands you might be injured or expired,, I have my family My belongings can be replaced I shut everything off before i left my house. Took documents & clothes & drained the water based on the info that was received from weather reports & local authorities
Margaret Sullivan November 12, 2012 at 04:53 AM
It is disgusting. That woman who blathers on about her iPad is particularly obnoxious and particularly insensitive to the plight of Ortley homeowners who have lost so much. It's outrageous that these imbeciles were able to tour our community and we aren't allowed to see our homes.
John November 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM
Yea for JOHNNY Done it........ Not everyone else had that opportunity! I guess Keyport and Union Beach doesn't have major destruction, they do. Boats/ cars on bridges and in the water and roadways upside down. With gas and oil leaking in the waterways and in the communities. Businesses destroyed roads torn up and poles down. The whole town of Union Beach and parts of Keansburg have to be leveled. Was it the same destruction as Ortley, probably not as big. BUT MAJOR..... And the difference is, the day after the storm people were helping people. They are climbing thru the rubble cleaning up. The difference is, 2 HARD WORKING BLUE COLLAR TOWNS WORKING TOGETHER. THEY WEREN'T BLOCKED OFF FROM THEIR HOMES OR BROUGHT IN ON A BUS TWO WEEKS LATER. A week fine, 2 weeks is becoming a JOKE. Oh, and chemicals from pools, please.
Ortley Rocks November 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
ORTLEY... ORTLEY .. ORTLEY .. OPEN UP THE SAFE ARES PLEASE! PLEASE! Stay strong Ortley Beach... we are on our own now.
taxed-out-the-wazoo November 12, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hi Matt-Guess what...I have been informed by my sources about some backdoor politicking going on. My friends-not members went to the Ortley Beach VOTERS and Taxpayer Association for additional information. Again, not members of the association (which Association by the way has NO legal or governmental authority yet the Officials have specifically hand-picked them to be the ONLY contact with Ortley Beach INSTEAD OF THE TAXPAYERS THEMSELVES) as Ortley Beach is NOT a community of condos.. Anyway, as suspected....this Association DOES NOT represent the Community...only its membership and refused to provided information provided to it through its special meetings with the TR Officials. There is an e-mail exchange which supports all of this. And, understand, TR Officials have been told before that Assn does NOT represent everyone,but TR continue to have "special" meeting with them as if they do. Btw - such discussions may be causing add'l delays. There are state AND federal funds here which DO NOT ALLOW FOR only certain taxpayers and certain "VOTERS" to be kept in the loop, only. Investigations will happen/how this is being handled. Contact US Senators and DC/FEMA people. This is not the normal..hey/help me and I'll paint you parking spots in front of your house or hey a Township job is opening-this is BIGGER-this is a FEDERAL DISASTER. So, the withholding info from ALL taxpayers and special meetings with some who happen to be VOTERS, too will surely be addressed in DC
taxed-out-the-wazoo November 12, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Oh...and Matt...spread the word about contacting the Feds. Withholding information becuase you are not a member of an assn in disaster situation..where A LOT of emergency disaster funds FED AND STATE are being used for clean-up, the special meetings themselves, Overtime, etc. May carry criminal charges, too. This is the ULTIMATE PAY TO PLAY...PAY a membership fee and we'll share our specially delivered info; otherwise...too bad.
taxed-out-the-wazoo November 12, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Gail - Seaside residents and non-residents (PROPERTY OWNERS/TAXPAYERS) are driving their personal vehicles in....TODAY. And, they are not being placed into "time out" after 1 1/2 hrs....they have to be off by 3:00. Also, Mayor commented that construction is causing add'l problems. Does anyone know...is the debris being taken off the island to clear the highways or is it being placed/dumped into OB's side streets like a trash disposal area? And, do these workers (all of them) have catastrophic disaster background...are they Township people or experts? Does anyone know?
barbara November 12, 2012 at 05:15 PM
just trying to find out where my in laws car is, was parked in a&P, contacted everyone i could and stll no answers. contacted oc police blotter and did get a reply "we dont know, good luck" wtf?
George November 12, 2012 at 07:20 PM
totally agreed. this BS about only full time residents getting access should be contested. Part time owners pay the same tax rate don't we? In fact we put less of a burden on the township than full timers ( some renters ) so much to say , but my blood pressure is rising...
George November 12, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Hey Tommy boy, so what do you sugest? Bend over and say yes to big gov.? Read some history... before you post your comments about "making terroristic threats" !!
taxed-out-the-wazoo November 12, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Exactly Barbara, WTF? Contact the Gov's office - OC po-po are under his domain, ultimately; US congressman's office (Fed funds being used, too, you know) and tell them that this these are the answers you are getting-none. Also reach out to the state police and emergency management, maybe they can give you more direction than this OC police useless response. A good response would have been helpful and directional; like we don't know but here you may want to try here, here or here. Instead, basically a governmental employee saying...duh, I don't know, but thanks for the overtime!
60-Year Resident November 12, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Homes in Ortley Beach are being torn down without notification to homeowners! Hello Barbara: I posted a comment last night, and it seems to have disappeared. We are hearing from neighbors that their cars have been removed and they cannot locate them. They get the same answer as you, "We don't know what happened." As a matter of fact, homes deemed beyond repair are being torn down on their respective lots without any notice at all to homeowners. I know of two instances where the homeowner found out about the removal of their home by another source (not our government). They never go a chance to see what is salvageable or to get one last look. I am also aware that they are removing garages and sheds with all contents intact. Again, no considerate communication to the homeowners. Toms River Officials: We all ask you to reconsider your clean up and re-entry plan before this story ends up on 60 Minutes!
Project Bluebeam November 12, 2012 at 08:01 PM
It's an Agenda 21 land grab. 60 minutes is pro-Obama administration big government propaganda. They won't touch this story with a ten foot pole. Better call Alex Jones.
Paula Belotta November 12, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I have unsuccessfully tried to get any information at all from the township of Toms River and our elected government about my home and community of Ortley Beach. All other Barrier Island towns have kept their citizen informed and up to date as to progress. My township has decided not to do that....just an occasional blurb. Now to add insult to injury they have scheduled the council meeting for 3 pm as to put yet another obstacle in our path . They don't want to see, hear or help us. I am disgusted by their treatment. I have seen photos taken that allow a visual from Rt. 35 S to the ocean..... streets from 6th to fielder are clear of debris. Today I maneuvered my way through and in between homes from CVS to Vision Beach. Although each and every house has debris the streets are free of debris. In speaking with State police from Maryland (extremely polite and sympathetic) they told me they were not allowed past the cement barriers either , they were only to guard them. I am starting to think they are hiding something.
barbara November 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM
thank you 60 year old resident, haven't heard inquires from mayor or police chief. oc police blotter responded they dont know, good luck. wth? someone especially officials should know, but no one know. frustrating....wnet there today, house is still standing, but how can they tear down houses and remove cars and not notify homeowners? unbelievable but thank you\\
barbara November 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM
if u hear any more, let me know campergirl307@cmcast.net i must go back to work tomrorrow. am housing 3 homeless families here, 2 from ss hts. and my son and girlfiriend who rent our t.r. home, we lost everything. unbelievabe, but trying to be strong, hard.
barbara November 12, 2012 at 08:19 PM
me too Paula, very frustrating. no answers to my inquiries.......politicians want our votes, and we vote, but in times of need they not there. makes me sick to my stomach. can't tell u how many hrs. i spent of the phone this past 2 weeks making phone calls just to hear "i dont know"/ lost all in our t.r. home which my son rents, he and girlfriend here, daughter, boyfriend and granddaughter from ss hts homeless, took them in and poor old mom and pop who stuck it out to the end on bayside terrace and we found them at shelter. and no one in political office can contact me. i need to go back to work tomorrow, took past 8 days off........this sucks a big one. so disgusted with our local politician who suppose to be there for us.....
barbara November 12, 2012 at 08:24 PM
thanks taxed out, i just dont have the energy anymore to make more phone calls. housing 3 homeless families here and what is is. they the politicians make me sick to my stomach.........sure if i call state police will get the same answwer "we dont know"........sucks.
barbara November 12, 2012 at 08:26 PM
i lost 8 days of work to help homeless families i took in......will gov or work give me back that vacation time, all i had left for the year back? dont think so...........yes, i am a public servant and this makes me so disgusted and sick to my stomach. must go back to work tomrrow, now i have no time left for the rest of the year. tried to go in one day and no power, they had 8 days of freezing and no powwer. sat there with hat, gloves, coat on........and much to do here, so i was told had to use my time..........which is fine, but now i just dont know.
Donna Griffin November 12, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I'm unclear as to why Ortley officials have not posted pictures of every home on their municipal website so that the homeowners can see for themselves the condition of the properties. Lavallette did post many of its properties and I think that is an enormous public service. I agree that if the property is accessible via roads, then the homeowner should be permitted an inspection. However, Ortley took the biggest hit, their roads are extremely compromised (or non-existent in some instances), and I have a sense that some of the people posting here are wishful thinkers for what they believe they will find. The last thing needed there are hundreds of cars and contractors in an extraordinarily hazardous environment.
Jake November 12, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Thank you Toms River Police for your organization and help to retireve articles from my home. I know you have been working long shifts and many days straight but your help is immeasureable. Thank you. Thank you.
John November 13, 2012 at 11:20 AM
NYC starts a RAPID REPAIRS PROGRAM today. If they already applied to FEMA and have a number. They can start repairs with contractors without putting money out. The news was showing residents climbing through the rubble of their TOTALLY DEVASTATED Staten Island neighborhood helping each other. Now thats a community working together.
grace November 13, 2012 at 04:27 PM
that is so nice our neighbors didnt even ask how we were
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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