Members of the state Assembly took a bus tour on Thursday, checking out the recovery effort and surveying some of the devastation that remains. WCBS 880’s Levon Putney joined the legislators on the tour of New Jersey’s coastal communities.
WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports
Along the casino pier in Seaside Heights, generators hummed as workers in hazmat suits carried totally water-logged items in and out of some of the buildings.
Construction workers were also at the pier, waiting to jump in and help with the rebuilding effort.
Many spots along the Seaside boardwalk held up to the wrath of superstorm Sandy, Putney reported.
But in other spots, the boardwalk appeared warped or totally destroyed.
The iconic Jet Star roller coaster now sitting in the ocean is just one of five amusement park rides sitting in the Atlantic, the state parks department director of operations told Putney.
The official said the state is committed to rebuild, but that they do not expect to have the entire pier ready in time for Memorial Day, Putney reported.
The bus tour also rolled through Ortley Beach in Brick.
A beach club there suffered severe damage, with the ocean-facing side completely caved in.
A sign posted on the front of the building reads: ‘Surf Club vs. Sandy. Sandy 1, Surf Club 0,” Putney reported.
Bulldozers on the beach were seen pushing sand into a dune towards where the boardwalk once stood.
Some homes were pushed off their foundation, while others were reduced to just a pile of rubble, Putney reported.
The bus tour was scheduled to run from Seaside Heights to Mantoloking.
On Thursday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it was extending its sheltering assistance program by two weeks for those in the state displaced by the storm.
The program was due to expire Thursday, but FEMA announced it will continue to pay for Sandy victims’ hotel rooms through Dec. 13.
The agency said more than 2,800 households in New Jersey have taken part in the program and eligible residents are being notified by phone about the extension.
FEMA said it is working to get storm victims into temporary rental homes or permanent housing soon
The tour of devastated communities came just a day after Gov. Chris Christie put the total storm damage tally at $36.8 billion. The governor is requesting that the total amount be covered with federal aid.
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