Christie: Shore Communities Rebuilding Boardwalks
Months after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Garden State, restoration and reconstruction work continues up and down the Jersey Shore.
With the summer tourist season right around the corner, several communities are rebuilding boardwalks and amusement attractions, while businesses and homeowners are also moving ahead with repairs and remodeling.
Efforts are also underway to remove debris that wound up in many waterways after the storm, so those areas will be safe for swimmers and boaters when the weather gets warmer.
Many homeowners have voiced anger over revised FEMA flood maps - that would require them to raise their homes several feet - at a cost of $40,000 to $60,000 - and the fact that they would be forced to pay much more for flood insurance - in some cases ten times more than they're paying right now - if they don't make the recommended changes.
"We are spending a lot of time with municipalities and their engineers and the engineers of the DEP pushing back on these FEMA maps and hoping to get an answer sooner than what they had said before about revisions of the maps," said Governor Chris Christie, during Townsquare Media's Ask the Governor program this evening.
Overall, the Christie said recovery efforts are moving ahead well in many areas, and he predicted most if not all of the boardwalks will be rebuilt by the time Memorial Day arrives.
He also said the State's Disaster Action Plan should be approved by FEMA by early April, which will allow people to start to apply for Sandy grant money to rebuild their homes, and he vowed that dune replenishment work will continue.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers is spearheading several dune rebuilding projects in a number of New Jersey coastal towns, in order to protect the shoreline from possible future Superstorms. Their efforts have been welcomed in most communities, but some property owners with homes right on the beach are resisting efforts to build sand dunes higher, because it would block their view.