Archive for the ‘Hurricane Irene’ Category

Ocean Grove Fishing Pier, 2004.  Paul Goldfinger photo

Ocean Grove Fishing Pier, 2004. Paul Goldfinger photo

By Paul Goldfinger

Many of you are probably unaware that Ocean Grove has a past history of being rejected by FEMA, and that history reverberates today. In early 2012, the OGCMA received word that FEMA would not provide funds to repair the fishing pier damage that resulted from the 2011 hurricane Irene.   The rejection was a surprise because the CMA had received help in the past for prior storm damage to the Great Auditorium.

The reason for the FEMA Irene damage denial had to do with the recreational functions of the pier, and a related component may have been due to the fact that the public had no access to the private fishing club area.  In a recent discussion with Mr. delCampo of the OGCMA, he was concerned that the current Sandy appeal might be negatively impacted  if the CMA were to agree now that the fishing club would  be reestablished at the end of the pier where it has been located for many years.

At this time,  rebuilding the pier has been declared a lower priority by the CMA, and they have not been willing to enter into discussions regarding the fishing club’s future at this time.  The OG fishing club has about nine years left on its CMA lease for the pier, but it’s not clear if that lease will be honored in the future.

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Photo by Ted Aanensen, Blogfinger staff

By Yvette Blackman, Contributing Writer @Blogfinger

Hurricane Irene hopscotched along the Jersey Shore early Sunday, ripping up sections of boardwalk in Spring Lake and causing flooding in Asbury Park but largely sparing Ocean Grove. At least one death was reported in Salem County as a result of the storm, and flooding was a major concern statewide.

In Ocean Grove, part of the railing and flooring were missing from the north side of the clubhouse at the end of the fishing pier. And in the northeast section of town, on the corner of Bethany Block and Central Avenue, the canvas on at least three tents were ripped apart.

Most of the damage and debris appeared to be concentrated in the north end of the Grove. Wesley Lake crested its banks and water was pooling on the Asbury side and in the casino shell that separates the Grove from Asbury Park. Waves pushed mounds of sand onto the Grove boardwalk and a portable bathroom was perched on a sand dune, said Michael Parks, who lives on the north end.

The cross planted on the beach just north of the pavilion was still standing.

According to a post by “Janet” on our Blogfinger site, “Very Large tree branches down on Cookman Avenue (west) and in the park near the Sea Breeze village houses. At least these large, old trees stood their ground. Not so for the poor old Oak in front of Pentz Realtlors (sic) on Main Avenue,” she wrote.

Hurricane Irene was a Category 1 storm when it made landfall at 5:35 a.m. in Little Egg Harbor, uprooting trees and causing extensive flooding in some coastal and inland communities. A woman who called authorities for help after her car became stranded on a flooded road in Pilesgrove was found dead in the car a few hours later, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The newspaper said an estimated 76,000 Monmouth County residents were without power.

It appears, however, that most New Jerseyans heeded Gov. Chris Christie’s evacuation warnings that started Thursday afternoon.  Thousands of people took refuge at shelters in Ocean and Monmouth counties, the newspaper said.

In Asbury Park, sections of the boardwalk were swamped by the tidal surge, which tossed concrete benches around like toy trucks. Judging from televised reports, the damage appeared more severe in Spring Lake, the bucolic beachfront community marked by large mansions and impeccably manicured lawns.

Sections of the boardwalk were ripped up, power lines were down and trees with huge trunks were uprooted, including at least one that crashed into a house. The homeowner, a roofer, was inside with his family and safely moved them to another part of the house, according to a report on CBS-TV in New York.

“It is terrible,” Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton told CBS. “It’s not a couple of trees. It’s many, many big trees that are either down completely or sheared off. We’ve lost power in three-quarters of the town so just the very northern section of the town has power right now. And we have some pretty significant flooding in the south end of our town near Wreck Pond. There are at least six or eight streets that are completely impassable that are flooded that you couldn’t drive down.”

Naughton said she will be seeking federal help.

“It will take us a long time to clean this up,” she said. “This happened to us 15 years ago and FEMA was a huge help at that time with financing the replacement of the boardwalk, and we’re going to be looking to them again for help.”

Hours after the hurricane passed over the Shore, curious crowds poured onto the Ocean Grove boardwalk to get a first look. Aside from a muddy, soupy mess of sand on the south end of the boardwalk and the occasional tree branch in the street, there was little damage to see.

Compared to last Sunday, when heavy rains caused some flooding along parts of Broadway, there was no flooding and only a few houses along Broadway and on Ocean Avenue were boarded up. Only a few cars were parked on the street and most of the homes appeared empty.

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August 26 Friday by Ted Aanensen, Blogfinger staff. Friday, August 26 by Ted Aanensen

Friday August 26. By Ted Aanensen, Blogfinger staff

Rising surf on Friday. Ted Aanensen

Asbury Park Press. Saturday

Saturday: "Friends stop at the OG Bakery before evacuating town. Those baked goods are a necessity." Photo from Nancy and Jean Jean

5:43 pm Saturday. Fishing pier is closed. (note: in 1992 it was swept away by a nor'easter.) By Ted Aanensen

Saturday. Sailboat rescue. Chesapeake Bay, Norfolk, Va. Photo: the Virginia Pilot

SATURDAY. Manateo, NC. Associated Press photo via APP

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Sunday 8 am:  Joan Venezia called. She and Al drove around town and found no significant damage or flooding.  There were some tree limbs down. Electricity is on.  APP.com is a good source of local  information as is FM 101.5. Channel Two is doing video live coverage from Belmar, AP and Spring Lake.

The eye of Irene is soon to arrive. She will be soon downgraded to a tropical storm, but flooding, winds, and rain will continue. Spring Lake is lower than we are and they have been hit fairly hard.  Asbury Park has some damage on the boards. Police are chasing onlookers off the AP boardwalk.  Wesley Lake flooded on the Asbury side.

See citizen reports above for more OG details.  Grovers please send photos.

Saturday 7:15 pm:   The shelter at Wall High School is only accepting people with medical problems.  There is a nurse on duty.  There is room at Holmdel  and Colts Neck High Schools.  No pets are accepted at the shelters.

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Grovers:  We will reserve this post site for you to voice your hurricane opinions including post- mortems and aftermath news/stories . Click on “comments” below to add something or to read what others are saying.

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