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Good Luck Point, Glen Cove Still Scenes Of Devastation Nearly Three Weeks After Hurricane

'Only the crazy people stayed,' one resident says

 

There's a reason Berkeley Township police officers are still stationed at checkpoints into the Good Luck Point and Glen Cove sections of Bayville.

Almost three weeks after Hurricane Sandy roared onto the Jersey coast, the two bayfront areas are still scenes of devastation. A blackened tree stands like a sentry next to a Good Luck Drive home that burned to the ground during the storm. Firefighters were unable to reach it.

The power has been cut to most homes in Good Luck Point. Many are tagged with neon-red "unsafe structure" signs on their doors.

Houses sit in places they don't belong, washed off their foundations. Overturned boats are everywhere. Some sit in the tidal marshes off Bayview Avenue, blown far from where they were once stored.

"All these boats were just picked up," said Township Council President James J. Byrnes, whose Dogwood Drive home in Glen Cove will have to be demolished.

Furniture and mounds of household items line the curbsides. The township Public Works Department has already made several passes through Good Luck Point and Glen Cove, Byrnes said.

"I got two cars gone and my house doesn't have a roof," Douglas Nutley told Byrnes, during a Saturday tour of the battered area. "I'm getting too old for this aggravation."

But a few doors down, Linda and Howard Baigus vowed to return.

Three feet of water inundated their Good Luck Drive home of nearly 20 years. A rusty horseshoe is still nailed next to their front door, a survivor of the storm.

The fireplace in the living room that faces Barnegat Bay is all that's left of the room. The roof and walls were swept away by the crushing storm surge. The two-story garage next to their caramel-colored house collapsed. A utility pole toppled and crushed their R.V.

The couple heeded the mandatory evacuation order and fled with their animals on Oct. 29.

"We got out at 3 p.m.," Linda said. "At 12 p.m., it was already flooding. We never had water in the house before."

The newer house next door to the Baigus' withstood the storm because it was built to Federal Emergency Management Agency hurricane standards. And the couple's next house will be too, Linda said.

"I'm assuming we have to demolish the house," she said. "We'd definitely like to rebuild. We love it here."

They have been staying at an emergency, pet-friendly shelter at McGuire Air Force Base since the storm, but will move onto a rental home in Holiday City at Berkeley next week. But they are okay.

"All my cats are alive," Linda said with a smile. "My dogs are alive. Howard and I are alive."

Township officials will sit down with FEMA representatives on Tuesday to determine the parameters for what houses will have to be demolished and what houses can be rebuilt, Byrnes said.

He and Township Councilman John Bacchione drove slowly down the battered streets, often asking residents how they were doing.

When Byrnes stopped by Whitey's Landing Marina on Butler Boulevard in Glen Cove, he joked and asked the owner how he had managed to cram boats in so tightly.

"Act of God," he yelled back.

Many of the houses in both sections that were badly damaged were older homes, built in the 1940s and 1950s, when much of Bayville was a summer retreat. The older houses, built on concrete slabs, were lower than newer homes and took in more water.

Byrnes is concerned that many residents who have already started renovation and remediation do not appear to have the required permits for whatever work they are doing.

Residents without the permits "are going to get a stop-work notice," he said.

But he didn't have the heart to tell them to stop what they were doing on Saturday afternoon.

"We waived the fees and we've hired five new inspectors," he said.

Fortunately, nearly all of the residents in Good Luck Point and Glen Cove obeyed the mandatory evacuation order.

"Only the crazy people stayed," one man said.

smrh November 18, 2012 at 02:03 AM
I feel for everyone of you that live in glen cove and every where else for that matter. Glen cove is where I grew up! The next morning after sandy I was able to drive threw and my heart just sank to the pit of my stomach! To see the streets I walked on and some of the yards I played on where completely under water I have been here for 30 years and never saw it like this! I'm so sorry for all of you! And I hope we can rebuild and it be better then ever!! <3
foggyworld November 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I am one of the crazy people who stayed because we lived in the house built not to FEMA standards but to the stronger of the two codes in place for coastal building in North Carolina and Florida. Both have been eased a bit since then. We really had nowhere else to go other than maybe Ohio and it turned out to be a blessing to be here because we had an intentionally built breakaway wall facing the water and it did just what it was supposed to along with vents near ground level. By being here we were able to with the help of friends plywood that back wall and close up any entrances that would have permitted the seemingly hundreds of groundhogs out here from entering the premises. They are an issue and the Dutch in their much better prevention methods on a daily basis get rid of animals that can weaken soil. This was the worst thing I ever watched but my lifelong respect for the power of water led to our building as strong a house as possible. We now have electricity and received all of the approvals for that to happen.
foggyworld November 18, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Most but not all of the work being done out here is simply clean up work. The town provided only two of the three once a week garbage pick-ups and finally many people hired dumpsters and help to clean up what could have become an unhealthy situation. To do things without permits is risky because FEMA most likely will force change on coastal building codes and they have been known to come in to an already built house or area & insist that prevention counts to them & they can demand that houses restored to their new standards will have to be complied with. And this will be an area that will be studied because it is contained and holds both houses & businesses. Most people want to return & it's the news that FEMA is now a loan agency rather than one that cleans up & helps is a bit shocking after Katrina and Florida. That means many would have to pay mortgages and suggested already higher property and state taxes while adding to things with a FEMA loan. And medical care will become an additional heavy financial burden. So without serious guidance from the State right now, people are reluctant to move forward. Studies are fine and many have been done already but the fact is that for decades housing here was permitted to be built way below just normal levels, never mind coastal codes. The Governor should speak up right now and let people know what the new rules will look like. His commission is bound to suggest that changing the codes is the first thing to do.
foggyworld November 18, 2012 at 03:11 AM
We, unlike our neighbors in Ocean Gate, have been ignored. Two civil servants actually talked to people and showed concern. One was the President of the Town Council who lost his own home and yet visited and listened and helped and the other was our steadfast mailman, Ed, who asked me one afternoon when I last ate and I said yesterday. That evening on his own time and in his own car and clothing, he appeared here with the very best ham and cheese sub I have ever eaten. He whose job has nothing to do with disasters, ought to be named Man of the Year in Berkeley Township. He cared about all of us and still does. But we were left on our own for weeks and added to the water damage, we had a huge mud slide that will take forever to clean up. The house that burned down, by the way, did so two weeks after the hurricane and it's a miracle really that the owner is alive though he had special equipment and a truck there that have almost put him out of business. One house just disappeared into the Bay and one was completely moved off its concrete slab by at least 15 feet. Several houses had their roofs ripped off and landed on the ground next to the crushed usually main house. No one was spared in a financial or emotional sense but the really good news is that we are all alive and hopefully will come back stronger and better should a storm of that freakish nature return.
foggyworld November 18, 2012 at 03:17 AM
The town now says it will help us clean up but many of us have worked hours without even a dumpster to toss things into. And we have gone ahead and rented our own and paid people to help us with the very heavy lifting of things like whole house air conditioners. What we also need is to stop electing double and triple dippers. We could eliminate the highly paid position of Town Administrator along with its pension, and have a full time, competent manager who is available at all times to look over and care for the people he is supposed to serve. Why were we ignored all of this time and with all the consultants and committees I have seen, I was startled that no serious plans seemed to be in place for a disaster. Think Oyster Creek and wonder.
r. hirshblond November 18, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Where is our mayor? It seems Jim. Byrnes has been the one on the scene.
foggyworld November 18, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Seems to me Jim Byrnes ought to be a single dipper, full time, well paid Mayor because he has the skills we need to clean up more than storm damage. He is the ONLY town official to visit the devastated Good Luck Point in all of these weeks. And he listened and finally got us some help. The double dipping mayor is a phantom and with Jim Byrnes here full time, we could save a heap of pension and salary money for the Town Administrator.
dniece68 November 18, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Lets all get together and express our concerns at the Towns monthly meeting....look how long they allow the beechwood plaza look like it does....but then fine someone for having their lawn too high...In I couldn't believe that some senor from HC area was complaining at the last town meeting about a tree brush still in their areas...please come Berkeley can Wait....Clean up on Bayville first....we do pay more on taxes.... Show us you all care...Sylvan Lakes need tree brush clean too
Rosalee Di Pietro November 18, 2012 at 04:13 AM
God Bless Council President, James Byrnes. Berkeley Township is very fortunate to have such a caring and compassionate Councilman, who lost his own home during hurricane Sandy; but yet went out to visit many Berkeley Township residents to see how they were including the barrier island of South Seaside Park, donating a box truck. We should all realize how lucky we are having to have him
WhyohWhy November 18, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Foggieworld....if I may interject here...since Sandy hit the Lacey United Methodist Church has been offering assistance to people that need it in reguards to clean up. All you had to do is ask for there help, and a crew would have come bearing masks, gloves, cleaning supplies hot meals delivered and help you and your neighbors. They still have crews going out to help clean out homes.I suggest you contact them. I don't think its really the mayors fault...n no I'm not a supporter...just stating hoe I see it. Much luck to you.
Ken November 18, 2012 at 07:38 AM
sorry about everyone's lose there, I wish you the best of luck with rebuilding
1stcav November 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Kudo's to Mr Byrnes, you Sir are my HERO ! Best Wishes to all on a quick and safe recovery.Lead, follow or get out of the way , you are a leader, Mr Byrnes Thank You for your dedicated service to your town and it's people...a true man's , man ...
survivor November 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM
The real heroes in Bayville are the Police and Firefighters here in town. They did an amazing job when all hell broke loose and people were fleeing their homes. I am so proud t say aI live in Bayville. Keep up the good work. We will get through this and continue to have a great town.
rb November 18, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Actually, the mayor has been here and is active in addressing the situation on GLP and GC. Jim Byrnes is a saint and as said above, we are fortunate he is our rep.
~Barb~ November 18, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Anyone know the condition of Berkeley Island Park?
foggyworld November 19, 2012 at 01:13 AM
Thank you for that information: we have been getting none because we had no power until today and the town leader didn't manage to notify any of the wonderful people who came to help us, that we were out here and just decked. Many of us are doing the work ourselves and have hired some help and dumpsters but now so many have scattered to the winds it's difficult for me to even tell you how to get in touch with them. But I know none of them would mind coming back to find less of a mess than is here now. We also had an awful mud slide and our roads are coated in the stuff and we need power hoses to get the stuff out of here. The question is where should it go because these are the wetlands and this is the Bay and our sewer system may not be able to cope. But we need all the help we can get just to do even the exterior portions of these properties. Please understand how very cut off we have been from the world and when we broke down and bought a generator last week we finally were able to get to some news and write to people. But yours is the first good bit of news. Hope to see folks around soon. Thank you.
foggyworld November 19, 2012 at 01:15 AM
And a woman's kind of guy, too! With an adorable wife to boot.
Random Poster November 19, 2012 at 05:55 PM
forggyworld: local bayville-ian here that only lost power for a day or 12 (lost cont after 3 days, lol, i am off of OG drive). i cant help with any money type stuff, as i am behind on house payments and bills as it is. but can afford to offer you or any of your fellow neighbors some manual labor if they need it. i am not a fly by night business or contractor of any sort, not insured or bonded either, nor am i looking to get paid for anything. just a utility worker background person with steel toes boots, respirator gloves and a tyvek suit if needed, who not afraid to get dirty and help a town member in need out. i spent 4 days in ocean gate getting my parents back to 85% of normal, so there is no reason i can help you if you need it. nothing better than helping someone in a time of need, making a new contact in town and frankies pizza taste best when eaten off the tail gate of a truck while dirty and tried after a hard days work.
foggyworld November 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I don't know how to get in touch with you but would like to because it sounds as if you could use some income and there is some work here that some people can and will pay for. It isn't help for me that I am asking for: it's help for my neighbors who have been devastated and you can just come here and offer a hand. The owners for the most part can't live in these houses but are here on weekends trying so hard to do things by themselves. Some have the money to pay and some don't but you will leave with a full heart, believe me. There is a small house at the end of the southern part of the point that is owned by a very young couple and they have been creamed in this as have many others whose house roofs now stand on the ground crushed into these former homes. Some of us are paying for dumpsters and a few machines but just getting rid of the mess by organizing it in meaningful piles might spur the county to pick up some of it. The town is giving us all of once a week regular one or two can pick up which at this point is insulting. These are wetlands and we all have to be careful that certain chemicals don't make it into the Bay so you sound as if you have a background that would be beyond useful. Many thanks from all of us.
Mark November 23, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Hi My name is Mark and I also live in Bayville, just west of OG basin. Unfortunately, I am in one of the older homes at zero elevation. My dad and uncle built it 70 years ago. No one has picked up our belongings (now trash out front). I have been trying to get the consturction office to come out a declare my house substantially damaged. hered sum not so good stoires about appraiser's from NJ based insurance company. I guess I am fortunate that i have 4 walls left but i don't think my house is safe from evern a mild Nor' Eastern any more. My blessings to Berkely and Ocean Gate police during the trajedy and to protect us from looters.
foggyworld November 24, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Mark, I live on Good Luck Point. FEMA adjustors seem to all be hired just for the duration. At our house the guy spent five minutes and didn't begin to write down all we were pointing out. And if you read your homeowner's policy as a rule they aren't very encouraging. Problem has been to get the State to spell out just what is covered. Christie changes mind and doesn't help us plan. Can't find out if summer houses are covered, as an example. And in Bayville, it's been a do it yourself project in the sense of cleaning up. At Good Luck Point we get once a week garbage pick up of regular cans and that's about it. Lacey Methodist Church and some volunteers have given us the help we have received. I'm trying to collect information and some is on the internet if you play around with it. But we need some basics right now from the State which now has decided to put in a six month commission which puts an awful lot of people on hold. Hang in there. At the very least FEMA could decide to LEND YOU the money to put the house up on the now required pilings. FEMA no longer does anything for free: the premiums we paid seem to have been transferred to HS by the President so there isn't any money in FEMA for us.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM
The governor started off by saying the homeowners would have a voice in this process and I don't see that the public is being invited to any sit down with FEMA. They won't be tearing my house down because it was built to a combination of North Carolina and Florida coastal building specs and codes and we are living here right now. But I am concerned about my neighbors who were not so fortunate. All of us should be at every meeting and you have to understand that the famous FEMA hired by the day inspectors spend about five minutes on a house and rush off. I couldn't get the guy to write down even half of what I point out in my five minutes of fame. I also noticed mistakes in FEMA's own records on the house and I just am not convinced that they have this communities well being at heart. Many of these houses are owned by older folks whose now adult children live nearby and want to contribute to rebuilding or building a new home for their parents. FEMA has no way of know that. And FEMA isn't paying for any of this work. Their best deal for all of those premiums they collected will be to offer someone a loan NTE $200,000K for an entire new home. That gesture is just that. People still will have to pay their mortgages and very high property taxes which the Mayor already wants to increased because the foreclosed have left a whole in his piggy bank.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Now politicians and civil servants do not have a sterling reputation for making financial decisions wisely. As a town, State and Nation these folks have us on the edge of national bankruptcy. Why then should a handful of politicians and many hired-by-the day FEMA inspectors shabbily collected data be the basis of any decisions whatsoever? Last week we were told the Governor needed six months and a committee to make mega changes again without We the People so I don't know how Berkeley Township can make an intelligent move without the input of one of our oh so many highly paid commissions which tend to never have just ordinary folks on them. I like and respect Jim Byrnes but he is only one out of a large handful, some of whom may have their own or friends' interests at heart. We should be included in this coming meeting and every other one that pertains either to our specific areas or to building code changes that I suspect we will reflect a xerox of whatever FEMA did during the last hurricane it covered. So give us the chance we were promised and let us decide on crystal clear information what each family should do. There may be instances where it is deemed impossible to permit someone to rebuild but all of that conversation should be based on fact and talked about in public.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:41 PM
The town did not clean up Good Luck Point. The lucky enough to still have garbage cans, got them picked up & dumped once a week. The dumpsters I have seen out here have all been rented by an owner or his or her representative to get the damn ball rolling. We finally did get some volunteer help from the Methodist Church in Lacey which also donated food, cleaning supplies and water to drink. The town didn't even give us a box of Hefty bags. Now if they came around after all the beautiful sorting, collecting and making into neat piles was done then thanks so much for that but know if you hadn't done it, we would have. No one on Good Luck Point believes in government good fairies any more but we have learned that we care about each other and want to help each other. We are not alone but we were ignored for weeks. Don't do it again, please. The policeman or sometimes two are politely waving people in on one of two streets but they park their cars in a spot where they can't see the other yellow taped entrance where many people walk in and out. There is no looting to do here because right after the storm people came right here and wisely removed any and all worthwhile possessions. At this point it would be highly dangerous for a scavenger because very few properties have been cleaned up completely. But the chemicals are gone & most people have hope. Please don't ignore us yet again by having a meeting about us and not including us at the table we paid for.

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