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Summer After Sandy: Belmar Is On The Rebound

Roughly A Few Dozen Families Are Not Yet Back In Their Homes
Sign on reconstructed Belmar boardwalk, April 30, 2013. (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

Sign on reconstructed Belmar boardwalk, April 30, 2013. (credit: Peter Haskell/WCBS 880)

BELMAR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The boardwalk is back.

In the second installment of WCBS 880’s weekly series “Summer After Sandy,” reporter Sean Adams visited Belmar as it continues to rebuild after the superstorm.

In the days after the Oct. 29, Mayor Matt Doherty vowed to reconstruct the boardwalk.

More than six months after Sandy and $8 million later, he has delivered on that promise.

“We’ve rebuilt 1.3 miles of boardwalk in time for Memorial Day weekend,” Doherty said.

The mahogany-stained boardwalk is made of a composite material with a herringbone pattern. It remains off-limits to the public until railings are installed in the next few weeks.

Belmar is on the rebound, but there’s still more work to do.

“It’s not going to be the same as last summer,” Doherty said. “The pavilions that were destroyed are not going to be able to be rebuilt until Memorial Day weekend of 2014.”

In their place will be trailers housing food and retail vendors as well as restrooms.

Doherty said 99 percent of the 140 businesses throughout town will be ready for Memorial Day weekend, but some establishments are already up and running.

“Please come down, we’re open,” Tom Rogers, owner of TR’s Food Court, said. “We’re here, we’re ready for business. We need business right now.”

Popular nightclub D’Jais also opened its doors last week.

“They’ve been here for well over 50 years,” Doherty said. “They’ve never had a drop of water in their basement, because of Sandy they had about $1 million in damage. It could’ve put them out of business forever, but instead of sitting back and saying ‘woe is us’ they were aggressive about rebuilding.”

On the residential side, roughly a few dozen families are not yet back in their homes.

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