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Storm-Struck Ortley Home Demolition Begins

The first of about 100 homes in Toms River beyond repair in the aftermath of the Superstorm go under the wrecking ball starting Saturday.

Homes in Toms River destroyed by Sandy
Homes in Toms River destroyed by Sandy (Debbi Winogracki, Toms River Township)

The township’s Private Property Debris Removal program (PPDR) begins in Ortley Beach, then moves to North Beach and on to the mainland.

Homeowners who registered are relieved of the cost of demolition and removal of associated debris, sand and even other buildings that toppled onto or into their dwellings. Costs incurred by the township are reimbursable by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“Our residents are eager to start the rebuilding process,” said Mayor Thomas Kelaher in a prepared statement. “Hurricane Sandy damaged over 6,500 homes on the barrier island and almost 4,000 homes on the mainland.”

Most experienced flooding, he said but homes that can’t be salvaged underwent structural damage.

Homeowners considered eligible were sent information packets by mail. Assistant Township Planner Erika Stahl has helped move them through the registration paces.  “Enrollment in the program must be approved by FEMA, which can take a while because there are many steps involved,” says Stahl.

Public Works Director Lou Amoruso says that the initial demolitions will take place on Seagull Lane, Beier Avenue and Nichols Avenue.

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