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Jersey Shore Towns Hoping People Return For Labor Day Weekend

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Pizza shop at the Jersey Shore - Belmar, NJ - Sep 2, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Pizza shop at the Jersey Shore – Belmar, NJ – Sep 2, 2011 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Irene

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Millions of people in the Tri-State Area are trying to salvage the final weekend of summer after Hurricane Irene. On Sunday, heavy surf roughed up the Jersey Shore, but sun worshipers headed back to the beach Friday.

It was quite a sight as soothing waves were seen down the Jersey Shore on a beautiful sunny day. It prompted Governor Chris Christie to make a plea.

“Get the hell back on the beach, would you?” Christie said.

Those words were a far cry from a week ago when the Christie told everyone to “get the hell off the beach.”

New Jersey residents certainly got the message.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Jersey Shore

“We’re just happy the beach is still here and we can enjoy the weekend,” one woman told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Friday’s weather was in stark contrast to the day of the hurricane when CBS 2 was reporting live on Asbury Park’s boardwalk. The cement beaches were in place and there was no debris flying around. Asbury Park’s boardwalk and beach was open for business.

“We actually have a brand new beach. In the past you used to walk down the stairs to the beach, now you just walk right on the beach,” said Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson.

That’s because Irene ate away at much of the beach throwing fences around.

“There’s a lot less beach than there was before the storm. You can definitely tell the difference,” Alex Ciottariello said.

In Spring Lake, mayor Jennifer Naughton said “over a mile and a half of our beach is open and debris free.”

As an incentive to get people to the beaches, many shore towns are offering free parking for the weekend.

The shore town of Belmar is also ready for tourists too.

“Everything was able to get repaired this week in preparation for this weekend,” Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty.

Business owners in Asbury Park have bounced back, saying they’re glad they got to monitor the hurricane on CBS 2.

“I was watching you that morning. Of course, I’m laughing now, but I was in tears then because as I watched the surge go in, I said ‘oh no.’ But we survived,” Maryanne Geller said.

Are you headed back to the beach this weekend?  Let us know in the comment section…

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