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Senate Hearing Addresses Rebuilding From Sandy In Toms River

The rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy continues to take shape at the Jersey Shore.  In some cases, the process has begun.  In other sectors, it hasn’t and has actually been stalled. 

 Senate's Budget and Appropriations Committee meets in Toms River
Senate’s Budget and Appropriations Committee meets in Toms River (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

Because history has a funny way of repeating itself, are there ways to stave off the next disaster?  Are there things we can do preventatively that will make a difference down the road?

If Mother Nature has plans, then we must adapt.  That was the main focus behind the state Senate’s Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing in downtown Toms River yesterday.  Stakeholders, officials and experts gathered in the Hirschblond Room inside Town Hall to hear testimony on efforts to rebuild structures damaged by Sandy.  The panel also discussed plans for future development in coastal areas.

Senate's Budget and Appropriations Committee meets in Toms River
Senate’s Budget and Appropriations Committee meets in Toms River (Jason Allentoff, Townsquare Media NJ)

Coastal Engineering Professor Jon Miller of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken was one of about 15 who gave testimony at the session.  He says it may be tricky for some to accept new building codes and the flood maps, but it’s better than the alternative.

Miller says “the whole thing may be a tough pill for many to swallow.  But the bottom line is, if we don’t put new guidelines in affect, we could end up seeing destruction during the next storm.  Also, not rebuilding is not an option.  There may be parts that will get bought out but there needs to be smart construction done to prevent future problems.”

Building codes and guidelines continue to be ironed out, and many in the construction field are now turning to the science community for assistance.

Miller adds “you can’t just build a wall and walk away.  There’s a multitude of things that need to be done ranging from better construction practices to making smarter choices.”

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