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Freeholders See Maps Of Sandy's Surge: 'This Was A 500-Year Event'

County engineer's report shows work progressing to get county back to normalcy

A map of Ocean County sat on an easel in the corner of the room, a blue tint highlighting many of the coastal areas but reaching well into the estuaries as well.

That blue, of course, represented water -- water that inundated so much of the county's eastern areas.

"This is just a little perspective of what's going on," Ocean County Engineer Frank Scarantino said, as he gave a Power Point presentation at the county freeholders' preboard meeting on Wednesday.

The map was a FEMA representation of the surge, with the bluish gray areas representing static water, not flowing water, Scarantino said.  The map -- broken into smaller sections -- is in the photos attached to this story.

It is an unprecedented amount of water, Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari said.

"This isn't a 100-year event; it's a 500-year event," he said. The map showed a faint line that indicated what had been predicted as the potential for a 500-year surge; the blue in many cases surpassed it. (Editor's note: That line is not visible on the attached photos. The surge appears gray.)

That's why the damage was so extensive, especially in the bayfront areas of the mainland, the freeholders noted.

Scarantino's presentation also included photos of the repair work done to re-establish a connection from the Mantoloking Bridge to the peninsula, which then allowed the Army Corps of Engineers to close the breaches created by the storm.

The county shored up the area where the bridge joined the land, excavating the undermined asphalt and then filling it with rock of varying sizes before laying down the road bed, and they did it within 24 hours, once the water receded, Thomas Curcio, supervisor of the roads department, said.

"We had to pick out furniture and TV sets that had wound up in there," in a gap under the asphalt that was scoured away by the water, Curcio said, noting they were able to work through the night.

Since the road repair was completed, the Army Corps of Engineers has been back and forth over the stretch with heavy equipment and massive truckloads of sand, and there has been no settling of the road,

"I’ve never seen anyone work as fast as the Army Corps of Engineers," Vicari said. "When they want to do something, they get things done."

Scarantino's presentation also included photos of Lavallette and Ortley Beach, where massive sinkholes developed for several days following the storm, particularly along Bay Boulevard, officials said. That road alone needs about $1 million in repairs, they said.

"They lost 2,000 feet of Route 35," Scarantino said. And New Jersey Natural Gas lost 4,000 feet of a brand new gas main, he said.

Curcio said the road department -- which borrowed vehicles from every possible department in the county -- moved sand that was four feet deep on the road in Point Pleasant Beach with snowplows, noting they were fortunate in that sand was very clean and could just be put back on the beaches.

The nor'easter, of course, slowed the work, he said. They had just two vehicles with plows on them in the day before the storm, which dumped as much as a foot of snow in some areas of the county.

"That was a kick in the pants to have to plow snow," he said.

The snow also took down more than 1,000 additional trees. Fortunately, assistance in the form of 20 three-man teams came in from out of state to help remove those trees, officials said, allowing county crews to keep concentrating on clearing and repairing the damage from Sandy.

There is still much work be done, Scarantino and Curcio said. Dozens of traffic signals -- 50 of them on Long Beach Island alone -- have to be repaired or replaced, and road repairs will be ongoing. But they are making progress, they said.

Sean Conneamhe December 01, 2012 at 10:52 AM
"A 500-year event. The return of the Manitou, protector of the Original People of Manhattan, Rockaway, Hoboken, Matawan, Raritan, Navesink, Manasquan, Metedeconk, Mantoloking, Manahawkin, Westecunk, and Absegami."
Artist/Engineer December 01, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Bear in mind that a 500 year event does not mean we're necessarily safe for another 499 years. It just means that statistically, an event of this magnitude is likely to happen only once every 500 years when averaged over thousands of years of accumulated data gathering. But it could recur next year and not skew the statistics by much.
Mattie December 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM
The 500 yr event phrase is nothing more than a dramatic talking point. Data and (reliable) records don't go back nearly that far. Computer models can only go on what is known now and has been recorded in recent history.... 500 yrs ago the east coast of North America was wilderness and the indigenous people here were smart enough NOT to settle permanently on the ocean beaches like we do now. They didn't keep weather records, either. I think we'll be seeing a lot more of these "perfect storms", mega storms, whatever one wants to call them. *Rapid * unnatural * climate change * IS real... no matter how many want to put the blinders on, stick their fingers in their ears and say "Lalalalalalalalalalalala!!"
Opinionated December 01, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I agree with you Mattie But for a different reason, possibly. Our "known" records started in the 1800's. What seems to be hidden by those with an agenda is at that time we were coming out of a "mini ice age". Over 1000 years ago the Vikings had settled in Greenland and were raising cattle. That means there had to be grass there. Today we are upset about its ice sheets melting away. One thing not mentioned except by the hardcore environmentalists is that the earth has too many people and that number is getting higher at an alarming rate. No amount of emissions regulation is going to offset that fact plus giving India and China a pass just makes these treaties a joke.
Mattie December 01, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I hear what you are saying, Opinionated. It is a very complex issue, so there are many factors to be considered, compared and predicted as best as we can predict. But it seems we do agree that ignoring it all isn't the answer, either. While we may feel that countries like India and China are doing nothing to help the issues, and in fact are adding to the negative impact of population and pollution- they are also making great strides (MUCH greater than we/USA) in moving into alternative energies (Solar and Wind, etc) while we resist even that much effort. WHY are we resisting that movement? I think we know why- Corporate interests and their lobbyists controlling our politicians and mainstream media.
Random Poster December 01, 2012 at 07:38 PM
either a 5, 10, 50, 100, 250, or 500 year storm, people need to be aware and prepared for anything at any time regardless. consider this event(hurricane sandy) a training exercise for people, and what they can/can not live or live with out. most should have a saving plan in effect in the even they are not able to return to where they were, and have the necessities to "get back up and running" somewhere else if need be. no need to be a "dooms day prepper", just have a personal "contingency plan" ready to roll out. and do so all while not relying on any type of government help, either local, state or federal. prepare as if you were going about everything solo, any outside help would just work to your advantage when/if the time comes.... living live dependent on "insurance" and "government assistance" will only go so far.....
Charles W. Bogert December 01, 2012 at 08:40 PM
In 1966 I had an opportunity to purchase an oceanfront duplex in Beach Haven for $42,000. I thought hard about it and remembered seeing the LBI houses on "stilts" some hundred of feet out in the water after the 1962 event. Instead, I built a lakefront in Hemlock Farms, Pa. for $20,000. True, I didn't have oceanfront, but then again I didn't have the devastation of the ocean at nature's worst!!! People losing property during this latest disaster had better think HARD before taking measures to rebuild in the ocean's "flood zone". They put not only their newly constructed homes in jeopardy, but also their lives and those who would rescue them in the event of the next inevitable regurgitation of the Atlantic. How selfish it would be for persons to reconstruct the mansions on the beach. we should replace the structures with natural barriers or at the least, we have to send our experts to The Netherlands to find out how the Holland Dutch cope successfully in their battle against the sea....
Cranky Mc Ferson December 01, 2012 at 09:16 PM
The only was we will know if this 500 year thing is true is to ask Sheriff Pauelhemus about his. I am sure he remembers back then when he was a young lad.
Project Bluebeam December 01, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I'm all for recycling, but damn if I buy carbon credits or stand by while Agenda 21 is implemented. Take off the blinders and stop blaming everything on mankind. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MC3PFmxmyx0
Joe December 02, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Be even nicer if the maps were a bit more legible.
John Pine December 02, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Why is there no link to download the PDF?
Project Bluebeam December 02, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Nope. We give em wampum many moons ago. Redman longtime gone.
Opinionated December 02, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I have too many problems with some so-called environmentalists because I don't know which face I am looking at when they speak. They make claims about different studies. When the flaws in those studies are shown or contradicting studies come out, they accuse people of being in denial or in someone's rich pockets. They want to stop "greenhouse" gases yet they give a complete and total pass to two of the world's most populated countries with almost half of the planet's population. And then the best is a staunch refusal to allow for transitional fuel usage (especially natural gas) until the cleaner ones are efficient enough to replace what we use now. I have solar panels on my house (they're great, I highly recommend them if you can get them) but that is due to the fact I have no trees on my property (which may not send a great message, deforestation). My big issue is that I find these scientists have an incredible shortfall in their believeability. That coupled with my previous post about the mini ice age and lack of true records before that makes me not take the "mainstream" environmental agenda as fact. Too many agendas make me leery.
Mac December 02, 2012 at 02:25 PM
One thing Hurricane Sandy demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt is that our Ocean County elected officials are totally useless when it really counts, if not outright embarrassments period. The Freeholders failed to respond with any information until the Freeholder's meeting the day after the election, and that was nothing more than an ooh-ooh, aah aah show. I mean, in the week prior to the election, the Freeholders were nowhere to be found. Perhaps they were busy trying to locate our Sheriff, who had been missing in action for several weeks prior to the election, and who, as Emergency Management leader of Ocean County, was apparently unaware that Hurricane Sandy even happened. To date, not one word as to why he failed to respond in any way, shape, or form to either the election or the hurricane. All in all, any and all money we pay into the Ocean County government is nothing more than public welfare for proven non-performers. However, comments from Vicari that Hurricane Sandy was a 500-year storm as opposed to a 100-year storm do keep the late-night comedians in business and Ocean County in the spotlight as a national joke.
mjmjr December 02, 2012 at 03:54 PM
tuna stick December 02, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Thanx for making my day Cranky. That was too funny. Probably true, but still funny.
Sandra December 02, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Wow, the pictures are remarkable. All the details are very helpful and thanks for the pdf file attached to the article. Great job documenting the transition and damage.
suz December 02, 2012 at 04:07 PM
So what happens now?? Are they going to let people rebuild again? I think the Government really needs to think this one out and come to a good solution. Oh, I get the fact that people want to rebuild (I have family on the barrier Island, by the way), but not sure if it is the right answer.
Penn Cross December 02, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I'd be glad if we didn't get another storm like this (or worse) over the next ten years let alone five hundred.
WMS826 December 02, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Barrier island....a barrier, not a neighborhood island filled with uninsurable homes.
KC December 03, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Noone can ever find the freeloaders anywhere at anytime. Why are you so shocked.
Common Sense in Silverton December 03, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Mattie, if you can post a non-biased, impartial source that shows such a trend, I would be very interested in seeing it. To be quite honest, I have a hard time believing that mankind has caused such a change in weather patterns over the last 200 years. I'm not close minded. I will believe it if presented with a study I can trust, but as Opinionated points out below, there are a lot of agendas on either side that make it hard to sort through the political BS and find cold, hard, irrefutable facts. On a slightly different note, I owe you an apology for an article a few months back where we were sparring over the definition of illegal immigrants. I have come to learn recently that being in the USA without a valid immigration status is only a civil offense, and not a criminal one. So I apologize; you were correct.
Mattie December 03, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Common Sense in Silverton- Here are some links- Most of them have basic information and reports on climate change, but more importantly, contain several other links within their stories and reports that can take you further. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121201085917.htm http://www.exploratorium.edu/climate/ http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ http://climate.nasa.gov/ http://www.ipcc.ch/ http://www.newscientist.com/topic/climate-change http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/earth-the-climate-wars/ http://climatechangearticles.blogspot.com/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/29/climate-change-sceptics-change-mind Now if one is going to discount *everything* touched by government funding or compiled by scientists who may (or may not) work for the government or for a University that gets funding from certain sources.... well, there's not going to be much left to think about. But I think we, as average non-scientists should be able to sort through much of this and decide (within reason) what sounds logical, believable and probable, right? Thanks for the apology, by the way. That discussion was quite a while back. :-) How did you make out in the storm? My sister-&-bother-in-law all but lost their home in Silverton to flooding. Long road ahead to rebuild....
BN December 03, 2012 at 02:07 PM
And those same scientists are mum on GMO'S and atmospheric aerosol geo-engineering. I guess it's a matter of not biting the hand that feeds you rather than a quest for knowledge. http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw3eGPFrRkA
Common Sense in Silverton December 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Oh, I just noticed that in my last comment, I neglected to add that I haven't done any serious digging into the matter, so all I really have so far is my initial skepticism. Thanks for the links Mattie, I'll have to check them out later when I'm not at work. As for how I fared, if you take a look at the Toms River/Ocean Gate/Bayville map above, just above Silver Bay you can see the red line that was my road, and my house was at the very tip of the line, so I made out just as well as your sister and brother-in-law. I wasn't here for the hurricane; I had left the Friday before for the weekend. The house is there, in spirit moreso than anything. Fortunately, I can stay with my parents in western NJ for the time being which, although has made my daily commute to Lakewood hellish, is better than what a lot of people were left with. I hope you and yours made out OK in the storm. Though we've butted heads (sometimes very angrily) in the past, it's nice to see people put aside their differences and start to help and care about one another. It's unfortunately something that seems to be lost on most people today; you can see plenty of other examples of people angrily stomping one another for various beliefs right here on Patch in articles about Sandy damage and the rebuilding. Times like these bring out both the best in people, and the worst. Unfortunately, we see more of the latter than the former.
Mattie December 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM
BN- Those same scientists might be mum on GMO, atmospheric aerosol geo-engineering etc, but it could very well be because it's not their area of research and/or expertise and they are not "those same scientists" who have studied accelerated climate change. I don't know. Skepticism is a good thing, no doubt. But 100% paranoia about 100% of the information presented regarding Acc. climate change isn't a good thing, at all. Ya gotta think and assess with an open mind....
BN December 03, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I'm certain those scientists study climate change are not astronomers either. Ignoring tectonic movement, volcanism, magnetic polar movement, and changes in our electrmagnetic field while researching climate change is absurd. It's scary when "scientists" make statements like, "the science is settled". It reminds me of 1930's Germany.
KC December 03, 2012 at 08:22 PM
absolutely! What a blurry mess even magnified.
mjmjr December 06, 2012 at 09:53 AM
mjmjr December 06, 2012 at 09:55 AM


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