While it could take several weeks or even months to assess all the damage Hurricane Sandy left behind on the Toms River Barrier Islands, Township officials continue to look towards the future with a positive attitude and open mind. 

Sink hole in Ortley Beach (Township of Toms River)

Today marks three weeks since the superstorm hit the Jersey Shore.

Many of the homes along the island, especially in Ortley Beach, were either severely damaged or totally destroyed.  There are sand covered streets, smashed up vehicles, houses either a pile of rubble or in the middle of streets.  With several of the units constructed in the 1950's and 1960's, many were built when standards and regulations were different and guidelines have since changed.

Township Planner Jay Lynch says they are currently working to make sure that when the cleanup is done and the rebuilding begins, everything is up to proper code.  He explains "this goes for everything from the land use and building materials used to possible changes in the landscape from shifting water and sand.  Several residents have expressed interest in making their homes higher elevations than before to prevent future flood waters from damaging things again in the event of another disaster."

That seems to be a familiar pattern now for many of the coastal communities either damaged or destroyed by Sandy.  Homeowners are understandably concerned that new weather patterns and a rise in the sea levels might create a recipe for future problems.  Lynch says they are taking everything under consideration.

Lynch also says "this process won't be an overnight one.  It will take several years to get everything to a new state of normal.  We are here to help and if anyone wants to reach out to me, they can do so at town hall."