If you’re not going to help, stay out of Manville, NJ
As clean up efforts continue from devastating floods and tornados in New Jersey, local towns are telling people to stay away.
Piles of debris, garbage, and personal belongings destroyed by the remnants of Ida are piled along local streets. Many have lost everything. Dealing with that is hard enough, but a large number of out-of-towners have been showing up to take photos of the damage and pick through the trash.
In Manville, one of the areas hardest hit by flooding, Councilman Joseph Andrew Lukac was blunt. "Be a decent human being," Lukac wrote on Facebook. "If you are not going help, leave us alone."
Gawkers and garbage pickers have also been seen in Gloucester County, where an EF3 tornado touched down and damaged over a hundred homes, with some completely destroyed.
In a post on their Facebook page, Harrison Township Police said, "Coming to the area simply to view the damage and take photographs is not acceptable."
We kindly ask that all understand the full magnitude of this situation and respect the privacy of the affected families; some of which have lost everything they own. Coming to the area simply to view the damage and take photographs is not acceptable. - Harrison Township Police
While picking through the mounds of garbage might seem harmless, some may be taking it farther. One resident told NJ.com that items he was not throwing away were taken from his backyard.
Manville Police said looting would not be tolerated, and anyone caught taking anything piled up along the street would be arrested.