Officials: Half The Town's 500 Homes Will End Up Being Gone; 56 Washed Away

MANTOLOKING, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Many Jersey Shore communities were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. In one community, close to 60 homes are missing.

CBS 2’s Christine Sloan took an exclusive tour of the area on Tuesday.

Sandy demolished Mantoloking, which sits on one of New Jersey’s barrier islands. Sloan saw one home that used to sit on the beach punched so hard by the storm it traveled across the street, smashing into other homes.

Sloan saw another property where only a swimming pool remained.

In all, 56 homes vanished from the face of the town, many of them ending up somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.

“There are homes that are just completely gone … except for some minor debris here and there, they are  just gone,” Office of Emergency Management director Chris Niebling said. “And we don’t know exactly where all the debris went.”

Sloan found a house under water in Barnegat Bay. During the tour of Mantoloking, she saw the incredible destruction. Two hundred damaged homes that still stand will likely come down, officials said. Once that happens, only half of Mantoloking’s 500 homes will remain.

Residents are not being allowed back in permanently until the spring, and there’s danger lurking in the water as the summer season approaches.

“We have cars … We have boats … And of course personal property that has come up missing … We suspect some of it is out in the bay, could be in the ocean,” Niebling said.

Not long after Sandy hit, several homes went up in flames.

Chris Nelson, the town counsel, said he pushed out of his house. He said federal aid is badly needed to build up the dunes to protect this community.

“If our dunes withstood the force of this storm a lot of those homes behind us wouldn’t have flooded,” Nelson said.

Sloan saw second floor of another home, with first underneath buried in the sand. The house was split in half. Officials suspect another house crashed into it.

The destruction is overwhelming. The question is how long it will take this shore town to rebuild. The estimate is several years.

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