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Seaside Heights Residents Might Move Back Early Next Year

Seaside Heights, left in ruins after superstorm Sandy, is seen from Chopper 880 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

Seaside Heights, left in ruins after superstorm Sandy, is seen from Chopper 880 (credit: Tom Kaminski / WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) - When you think of Seaside Heights and superstorm Sandy, the most lasting image is likely the Jet Star roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean. That gives you a sense of the destruction.

WCBS 880′s Sean Adams On The Story


It is still too dangerous for people to live on the barrier island and right now, there’s a strict curfew overnight.

The town, where MTV’s “Jersey Shore” TV show was filmed, is letting residents back into town during the day to work on their homes. Starting Thursday, the hours will be expanded to 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

But Mayor Bill Akers says he hopes to have residents back by January.

“My hope is we can start repopulating sometime in January,” Akers told a council meeting, which was held in a library in neighboring Toms River.

He’s drawing up plans which Gov. Chris Christie would have to sign.

“The governor has to sign off on our plan of repopulation. Until he says yes, it doesn’t matter what I say,” he said.

Critical infrastructure work continues, and if you listen to contractors, there’s much to do.

“You have sinkholes. Infrastructure’s washed away and, you know, once the dunes gave away and the water came across the roads, you know, the water’s going to take it off,” one worker told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams.

Carol Rudzik can’t wait to get back into the home she has lived in for 10 years. She’s been staying with relatives while working a full-time job and trying to get back into town on Sundays to do what she can to clean up.

“It’s hard to be displaced for this long,” she said. “No insurance has come through yet; FEMA hasn’t come through yet. I feel like I’m in limbo.”

The mayor also hopes to rebuild the Seaside Heights boardwalk by May 1 and he says they won’t raise beach badge fees to do it.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)