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UPDATE: Seaside Park, South Seaside Park Access Shut Down For Tuesday; Other Towns Still Waiting

Access plans changing by the minute

UPDATE, 3 p.m. Monday: Tuesday's access to South Seaside Park for Berkeley residents has been canceled, according to a notice posted on the Berkeley Township Police Department's Facebook page at 2:30 p.m.:

"As of now there will be no further entry to South Seaside Park or Pelican Island," the statement reads. "We are working hard with our state agencies, to include the Department of Transportation who control the roadways, to ensure a safe and orderly return in the future. We are are currently assessing the situation but as of now access for tomorrow will NOT occur. Please check back for further updates."

Seaside Park's borough website had the following notice at 3 p.m.: "As of this date, the State of New Jersey has deemed the roads on the Barrier Island unsafe. No access will be granted to Seaside Park Tomorrow. Updates will be posted here as soon as they are available."

Seaside Heights residents are meeting tonight at 7 at the Holiday Inn on Route 37 in Toms River, according to several reports. It is unclear whether Seaside Heights officials will be present, however. The borough's website has the following announcement, dated today: "We truly apologize for any bad information out there, but sadly Seaside Heights remains closed to anyone but essential personnel. We will have a plan by Wednesday (Nov. 7th) night that should allow limited access by this Friday (Nov. 9th). Take care and sorry for all of our losses."

Toms River officials posted the following on the township's website this afternoon: "Mayor Kelaher and Chief Mastronardy attended a meeting this morning with the NJ Department of Transportation, Lavallette, Brick and Seaside Heights authorities.  The DOT has declared that the roadways on the barrier island North of Seaside Heights are unsafe.  They have found over 22 sinkholes, some being as much as 8 feet deep.  The DOT is aggressively attempting to stabilize the situation.  The pending Nor'Easter is of great concern and it is unsure how it may affect their progress.  This situation will directly impact the development of any type of public access to the Island.
Ortley Beach is known as Ground Zero.  This area was affected by the storm more than the neighboring towns."

Lavallette officials released the following statement, according to the Ocean County Police Blotter Facebook page: "It is our understanding that the Borough of Seaside Park and South Seaside Park have started to allow residential access to their property owners. It is imperative that you know that we are working as hard as we can to allow our residents the same access rights.

"You should understand, however, that the damage incurred in those municipalities, and God bless them, is not as extensive as the damage that was incurred to Ortley Beach, Lavallette, the Toms River Beaches and the Brick Beaches. We are dealing with collapsed roadways, down utility poles and wires, in places there are still three to five feet of sand on the roadway surface. We have a number of roads where the asphalt has been completed sheered and has traveled as far as the Barnegat Bay. There are a number of locations along Bay Boulevard where the roadway has eroded and has fallen into the Barnegat Bay. Most all of the homes on the oceanfront from Philadelphia Avenue to the south have been damaged to the point where safe access is just not permittable.

"We ask that you please remain patient. We are working on the plan that will start to allow you safe access to your property, possibly as quickly as tomorrow."

Previously: The Berkeley Township Police Department said South Seaside Park residents will be granted access to their homes Monday and Tuesday to retrieve belongings, subject to specific rules, according to a press release on its Facebook page Sunday evening.

For residents of other barrier island towns -- Lavallette, Toms River, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park -- plans are still being formulated, Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said.

"The damage to the north, in places like Ortley Beach, was more extensive," Mastronardy said, with breaches of the island that did not happen in South Seaside Park.

More information on those areas was expected to be available tomorrow, Mastronardy said. The Berkeley PD statement is as follows:

The State OEM has permitted BTPD to allow our residents over to the barrier island to obtain personal items. The following rules will be strictly enforced. This permission was not granted easily. We need all residents to cooperate.

Rules: South Seaside Park

1. Registration starts at 9 a.m. at Berkeley Township Town Hall (Town Hall is located at 627 Pinewald Keswick Road, about a mile west of Double Trouble State Park and the Garden State Parkway)
2. You will be required to bring proof of residency or rental (i.e. tax bill, utility bill, license with name and address). This will be confirmed with the tax records.
3. You will be issued a permit to get past the road blocks at the bridge. The permit must remain in the vehicle windshield.
4. You must be off the barrier island by 3pm on both days!!!!!
5. This permit is only good for Monday November 5, 2012
9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesday November 6, 2012 8 a.m.-3 p.m. NO EXCEPTIONS!
6. Each residence is only permitted one passenger vehicle or pick-up truck. You will be permitted to exit and re-enter to gather your belongs during the designated hours. You will not be permitted to cross the bridge after 3 p.m. It cannot be a box truck or tractor trailer. Small trailers acceptable up to 16 feet.
7. You are restricted to your property ONLY. NOBODY will be permitted to sightsee. We have to ensure the security of our residents. State Police will be patrolling during the stated hours.
8. Your cooperation now will greatly impact any of these types of efforts in the future. We will make accommodations to get you along with your insurance adjustors and contractors to winterize your homes in the future.
9. FEMA representatives stated that they are trying to man a post in Seaside Park Police Department. This is not a definite.

Pelican Island

1. Due to the extent of damage on Pelican Island we need to get the Township Construction Officials to assess and authorize reentry.
2. We are working as fast and diligently as possible to allow our residence access to their homes.
3. Monitor the Berkeley Township Police Facebook along with the Township website. If we get clearance we will post it and allow you, with a permit to access Pelican Island. We understand your frustration. Please be patient!!

NOTE: Patch is trying to get information on Lavallette, Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights and Seaside Park on this situation. This story will be updated as the information becomes available.

barbara November 06, 2012 at 04:13 AM
unbelievable dorin, but true. i have 3 homeless families living with me in my quiet retirement community. two from ss hts. cant get no answers, trying to be patient.........taking time from his family to be there? seriously.......moron......oh, God help us............
Adele Leonard November 06, 2012 at 04:24 AM
You are not forgotten....The DOT has declared that the roadways on the barrier island North of Seaside Heights are unsafe. They have found over 22 sink holes some being as much as 8 feet deep. The DOT is aggressively attempting to stabilize the situation. The pending Nor'Easter is of great concern and it is unsure how it may affect their progress. This situation will directly impact the development of any type of public access to the Island. -Ortley Beach is known as Ground Zero. This area was affected by the storm more than the neighboring towns. Keep checking TR website for updates~best of luck!
Leslie Ann Fanning November 06, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Thank you ! I own a house in OB3 for the past 4 years. I was flooded out last year by Irene and still trying to get my house back in order.But my question is where do I belong ? My address has a Lavallette zip code but am I considered part of Lavalette when they are talking about allowing people in to check their houses in Lavallette ? But then again, I no longer belong to Dover Township and am now part of Tom's RIver. So do I follow the instructions for the Tom's River beaches, Lavalette or what? I'm at a loss ! Does anyone have an answer ? Thanks
NO Hope November 06, 2012 at 10:31 AM
I agree..It's over.....these people are wasting time looking back.....
NO Hope November 06, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Chief, what do you thonk is causing the sinkholes? The tide is running thru under the island....It's over........I know it's very sad but all these people are wasting time and resources on a sinking ship.
Project Bluebeam November 06, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Wrong Jay. There ARE people from Northern NJ and NY clogging the roads. Look at the license plates. Look at the stickers on the cars. They bring their kids with their Plainfield, Nutley, and North Caldwell high school jackets on and they've been making the trek all week. That's 1/2 of your gas problem right there.
Jay Gee November 06, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Please, everyone, there was an update about meeting of Lavalette residents or all of the area residents. I was changing stations. News states that the people at meeting were all clamoring to get into their homes for needed meds, and whatever, and they're not being let in. Supposedly there were hundreds. There is a post from @Jeff, stating we should form association and hire an attorney...Not likely. Most of the people at those meetings, probably do not have power, and cannot see these posts. Some or most of us posting are out of the area. What are we going to do? Many of those displaced and with family are too old, and others who are fortunate enough to be employed must go to work. The others must care for small school aged children, who are likely not in school, babies, and, most of the folks in the Seaside Area are likely in financial difficulty. We sure are. We needed to sell. Well, sell, shmell, that's not going to happen! Is there someone out there who can post free legal advice? We could use information....What are our options? Do we still own our homes? Do we have a right to what's in them? Taxes, Electric (probably isn't any) The gentleman they showed speaking on the news also said that it WILL BE MONTHS before anyone can go back to the island.....Just can't think of what to do. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP US ALL. Mostly those who are directly affected by losing their primary residences. The rest of us too, but those people first.
NO Hope November 06, 2012 at 11:01 AM
It's over...time to move on with nothing...get to higher ground..
Project Bluebeam November 06, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I think NO HOPE is right. Kiss OC tourism goodbye. Welcome to the newest addition to the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge.
Jay Gee November 06, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Also everyone. The Nor'Easter is definately coming, so, no one should expect to be let on the Island now. After I read from the poster that mentioned Ortley as being ground zero, hit worst of all, and 22 sink holes through out the island near I think route 35, wherever that is now, it seems as though there was a tsunami, and we're just stuck. And lucky to be alive, not having been there. If it were in summer, I suppose there would be a super death count. Wonder if there is one? On act of God, or Nature, probably not going to be insured...Who knows. What if mulitple stories, (condo people) what do they need to know? Well, fellow owners, Ft and PT, dunno what to say anymore, even though I keep talking....DUMPING?? It is too, too frightening. If you pray, please say prayers for everyone involved. Although, I'm not a church goer per say, I had been to mass couple of times at "OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP" as a friend asked me to accompany, I usually would say no, but I went.............THAT'S WHAT WE NEED, PERPETUAL HELP. WONDER HOW THE CHURCH FARED? IT WAS ALWAYS OVERFLOWING IN ATTENDANCE. If you don't pray, please send positive thoughts to the displaced Island Inhabitants....ALSO, THE RED CROSS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS COLLECTED OVER 15 MILLION SO FAR. WHO GETS THAT, WHAT DOES IT GO FOR...TO? HOW WILL WE FIND THAT OUT??? ugh................
Jay Gee November 06, 2012 at 11:27 AM
@Project Bluebeam: Where are you from? I don't understand. Who was on road all week? There couldn't have been anyone on the road all week. There were no roads open for quite awhile. The governor shut them down. Where would these people go? Your statements do not make any sense.. Were those people on the roads with jackets and kids only from the areas you mention? Wasn't anyone from Pennsylvania, Staten Island. Or was everyone traveling in the storm to Seaside area from Nutley, North Caldwell, NYC etc.? What jackets were the kids and adults wearing from NYC who are sculking around on the road, "clogging it up". Do you sit by the side of the Parkway, Rt. 35, elsewhere in the vicinity and watch where the traffic goes? What gas problem?. There was no gas for most of the week? Now that was the problem. Guess you've been seeing a mirage...or nightmaring, or you've lost it, but far be it for me to say so. This isn't funny, you know. Or don't you? Your Statement: Project Bluebeam 5:50 am on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 Wrong Jay. There ARE people from Northern NJ and NY clogging the roads. Look at the license plates. Look at the stickers on the cars. They bring their kids with their Plainfield, Nutley, and North Caldwell high school jackets on and they've been making the trek all week. That's 1/2 of your gas problem right there.
teatleytea November 06, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Leslie Ann, What town do you pay tou taxes to? Whatever town you pay tour taxes to is whatever you follow. I know people who have a Lavallette zip code and pay taxes to Toms River so they have to follow the requirements of Toms River about when she can go over to get her stuff out of her house and also when she can go and check on the destruction on her house.
Jeff 6th Ave Ortley November 06, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Wake up folks. @Jeff is correct. Lavallette, Seaside Park, etc are soverign boros. Their residents are returning (Lavallette is emailing invitiations to go back via bus on a street by street basis). Residents of the Dover beaches need to quickly form strong Homeowners Associations so we can get legal standing in the discussions that are happening. Make no mistake, Toms River will do what is in Tom's River's interests, which will likely be to maximize their tax future revenue with minimum outlay of Toms River cash. They will do this by trying to condemn entire barrier island sections in order to use emminent domain to take all of the properties in one big swipe, then sell it to a developer who agrees to bankroll the repairs needed to make the island "safe". Wake up folks, being locked out is NOT about your safety. Let's all get together, otherwise it will all be taken from us.
Allyson Diva November 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
When the reporters go through disaster areas, they are guided and supervised, they are not just left free on their own to wander around. There is a handful of reporters so they can be accompanied or guided as needed. Enough damage has been done without the immense risks of letting people wander through am unstable disaster area and into unstable structures I know this is very hard emotionally, but the sooner they accept it the better.
Allyson Diva November 06, 2012 at 02:23 PM
They are not supposed to be there. If they're found, they are being made to leave.
Allyson Diva November 06, 2012 at 02:26 PM
There exists a real possibility that there will be areas that definitely are not rebuilt. I know it is hard for shore owners to consider but it is possible that some of these structures should not be rebuilt due to the dangers and environmental risks of building on barrier islands. When it is your house, the pride of ownership overrides everything else, but there are many factors that the authorities have to consider. I hate to say it but I think for many people it may ultimately 'be over'. I don't think one can blame the officials - it looks like Mother Nature may have made the decisions for all of us. If certain areas have become unbuildable, there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Leslie Ann Fanning November 06, 2012 at 04:14 PM
For teatleytea.....Thank you for the info !
Heart Broken in Ortley Beach November 06, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Heart Broken in Ortley Beach Yesterday I was sent a link to a YouTube video showing a bus load of Toms River residents taking a tour of Bay Boulevard in Ortley Beach and Lavallette. It appears 2 bus loads were taken in on Sunday afternoon. They weren't residents of the barrier island. They were so detached. It was almost as if they were taking a site seeing tour in Disney World. Why would Toms River do something so thoughtless? The destruction they viewed didn't mean anything to them personally and there comments were shameful. At times they were making jokes. Really Toms River is this the best you can do for us. My concern is when the government does send relief in the way of monetary funds, how much of this will go to the barrier island? Please help me to think better of our municipal government.
Marianne November 06, 2012 at 06:50 PM
There is always the ACLU. Their phone number is 212-549-2500. The top article on their web page says "Notice to Media in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy." It does NOT say what they are doing to help - maybe they need a cause. I am not a property owner, but if I were, I would seriously think of getting an attorney, especially if there is a possibility of having your property condemned - scary stuff right there. God bless all of you. My heart and prayers are with you.
Heart Broken in Ortley Beach November 06, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Heart Broken in Ortley Beach Yesterday I was sent a link to a YouTube video showing a bus load of Toms River residents taking a tour of Bay Boulevard in Ortley Beach and Lavallette. It appears 2 bus loads were taken in on Sunday afternoon. They weren't residents of the barrier island. They were so detached. It was almost as if they were taking a site seeing tour in Disney World. Why would Toms River do something so thoughtless? The destruction they viewed didn't mean anything to them personally and their comments were shameful. At times they were making jokes. Really Toms River is this the best you can do for us. My concern is when the government does send relief in the way of monetary funds, how much of this will go to the barrier island? Please help me to think better of our municipal government.
Jay Gee November 07, 2012 at 04:57 AM
http://www.facebook.com/stormy.sandy#!/stormy.sandy
Candice November 07, 2012 at 08:54 PM
me and my husband saw that youtube video as well and were just speechless as to the "commentary" on the video...I'm glad that they find the damage funny and things to joke about because i don't think any residents do...so they'll bring people who could care less through ortley but the people that it means the world to can't go...and they we're supposed to be township representatives or something? disgraceful....if they can go there than why not start bringing us out by bus whether it's street by street or however...just get something started...we know the risks were facing going into possibly unstable homes...i know my neighbors home made it through with just minor flood damage, i already know my Windows are broken, but as far as I've been informed is structurally fine, so I'd like to board up and get things out before anymore damage is done...it's already too late to protect it from the noreaster...but afterwords...if they can find a way to take site seeing tours for cold careless people they can find a way to get us there too
SM November 07, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Is there anything we can do now to register to get to our home in silver beach? I want to be ready to board a bus or take my own vehicle when the time comes.
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Gail Powers November 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Seems pretty funny to me that they could fill in almost another entire island to allow access for the Mantoloking residents, but can't fix "almost 22 sink holes, some as deep as 8 ft." in Lavallette and Ortley Beach. By the time we are allowed back in to the houses that didn't get hit on the exterior, our interiors will look like Bin Laden's beard from the mold that will have established itself in them. So, exterior damage or not, our houses will virtually be worthless, too, and will need to be totally knocked down. Something about this picture just doesn't feel right!
Jay Gee November 08, 2012 at 10:50 PM
NEW INFORMATION...............NOW GO...............STORMY http://www.facebook.com/stormy.sandy
Catherine Galioto (Editor) November 09, 2012 at 10:23 AM
Hello, Toms River has announced a plan for barrier island resident access. Check out this update: http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/toms-river-barrier-island-residents-re-entry-plan-begins-friday
Jack November 09, 2012 at 04:34 PM
We really need to have a group that oversees the rebuilding of SSH and get the state involved. The powers within that are in place are not visionaries. They are happy with 20 somethings urinating in the streets and getting sick on our sidewalks all so their friends that own the local clubs and bars can make sales on beer. WHAT town officials turn their heads the other way to 3/4 of the residents outcry's to shut the bars down early only to EXTEND last call to 4 am. Kids are walking the streets drunk, cursing and the police turn their heads. They are only interested in fights due to the revenue it brings in. Heck....when was the lasttime SSH had a DWI----they don't want it because it will disrupt their cash cow. Bars are blasting music all night long and the police show up and tell the establishments to turn down the music. Ten minutes after the police leave, they turn it up again. It's pathetic THE PEOPLE OF SSH NEED TO GET TOGETHER NOW and have a say so in the rebuilding of not only the appearance of the town but the codes that govern the city. Getting a new mayor & council their would be a start WHILE THE WORLD IS WATCHING... LETS GET OUR TOWN BACK OR WE WILL BE SITTING ON THE SIDELINES WITHOUT A SAY SO
rosalie seebeck November 11, 2012 at 02:23 PM
When can I go over tl vet my stuff.I also hope that I get the info inenougb timeto llama and register e Ct.
P Snyder November 15, 2012 at 09:44 PM
very good point, Jay Gee. I, too, would love to see some of those that made so much money from Jersey Shore fame, etc. do something to help the barrier islands. My family owned a house in Seaside Park for over thirty years and I love the area.

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