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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.

Halpha2 November 12, 2012 at 03:32 AM
I wish they open up ortley just so owners can see that "mold" is the least of their problems. That is if their home is still there. Also so the fools can fall into a sinkhole, or have a housr collapsed on them, then sue the town. And with all of the private property beachfront associations, they should be responsible for their private beach and dune repair. Not gonna happen. Be prepared to rent a dumpster big enough to fit a house in.
Kim Gloede Burns November 12, 2012 at 03:57 AM
"Not everyone can be first" !? NOBODY in Ortley has been in to see their homes- no one has been first! "A plan is in place to provide access to homes, on a street-by-street, house-by-house basis." GREAT- let's see it start happening and people will STOP COMPLAINING because progress will finally be made. This is the first logical statement to come out of city hall... how many days has it taken to get to this point?! "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," - SOMETIMES SEEING IS BELIEVING FOLKS - how hard can it be to see and avoid this type of obstruction- after 2 weeks they must be clearly marked. Lets hope this is an indication that someone has finally put on their thinking cap.
60-Year Resident November 12, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Homes are being REMOVED without homeowner's knowledge: We received word today that damaged houses on their respective Ortley Beach lots were torn down and carted away this week without any notification at all to the homeowners. The homeowners were made aware by other sources--not the local government. We also have been made aware that vehicles were removed, but government sources cannot provide owners as to the whereabouts of said vehicles. Backyard sheds and garages (packed for the winter) are also being removed without homeowners knowledge. If property is deemed unsalvageable, tax payers deserve the right to be notified before removal. The government is leveling what is left of Ortley Beach before residents even get a chance for the bus ride! TOMS RIVER OFFICIALS: We realize that this dangerous, and thank you for your hard work, but YOU MUST change your re-entry (and homeowner notification) plan before this ends up on 60 Minutes!
Maureen Hughes November 12, 2012 at 10:53 AM
How. Do u sign. Up for reverse 911 to be notified entry into Ortley Beach
suz November 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Hey Ortley Beach Residents, they (hopefully) will be allowing access to your homes by the end of the week (?). Go to Ortley Beach.org or just google Ortley for more info. Good luck to all!!
Michael reina November 12, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Im just at a loss......i agree there has to be some order to this ....lets admit it ..it would be absolute chaos.!!!!! And though its taken time i do feel its probably the safiest and most productive way....and i live in ortley its not easy to say all this....
Sharon Comforti November 12, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I could understand not being able to access my house in Ortley if I didnt receive a ton of pictures and videos from ordinary people taking them. If it is not safe enough for me then why is it safe enough for the chosen few. If we had a counsel in our town who stood up for us like all the neighboring communities have, this would never have gone on so long. We need to see our homes as well. Enough of this crap. Signed Disguisted!!
Michael reina November 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
60 year.....you wanna see somone get a dis orderly charge and go to jail....after i sat here patiently and stood bye seeing pictures that people have taken etc....and there is a chance my home might be gone before i get to see it!!!!!!! They have to take me right to county lock up.......
Kim Gloede Burns November 13, 2012 at 01:49 PM
HALPHA2 - Your attitude leaves something to be desired. My guess is that you have been living off the revenue from the high taxes paid by those "fools" on the barrier island for so long that you have forgotten where the money comes from. I suppose you expect them to continue paying and just go away when they actually need services. People understand that they go on to their own property at their own risk- nobody will sue the town. People with homes that have been destroyed are thankful of the township help with damage and debris,, but would prefer to have at least seen their property before it is carted off. This is a part of their lives and they need closure, not the feeling that they are powerless by being kept away. Even if officials feel it is "for their own good" ie: safety. FYI: It's easy to be a mouthpiece when you are not affected by the issue at hand.
60-Year Resident November 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Michael: It is true. Homes that were in disrepair on Fielder Avenue were removed without the homeowner's knowledge. Nobody contacted them. We have the before and after pics. Somebody who rode out the storm took the before. If you want to see the after (empty lot), go to http://www.state.nj.us/governor/media/photos/2012/eventphotos/20121110/20121110Sandy158.jpg See for yourself. The homes have been leveled. They were not taken away by the storm, but rather the bull dozer. Yes, these homes were in disrepair, but they were still standing on their lots. Homeowners still have not been contacted.
Karen Paul November 13, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Wow, can't open that link. States the website doesn't exist, has been moved or has been instructed not to let you view it......
60-Year Resident November 13, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Past it into your browser. It is there. http://www.state.nj.us/governor/media/photos/2012/eventphotos/20121110/20121110Sandy158.JPG
snj November 14, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Don't bother it does not work there are technical issues with it. You need to stay connected by using the following sources: toms river patch website, on face book go to friends of ortley beach, examiner.com has up to date news and lastly toms river township
lisa potter November 16, 2012 at 12:02 AM
went home to ortley today...thank you to the toms river police dept.you did a great job!!!!!!!!!!
Janet Hutchings November 19, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Returned to Ortley on Saturday. Cannot say enough about the state police(both NJ and other states). Massachusetts State Police officers had the damaged contents of our house removed quickly. Thanks to all.

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