All of Long Beach Island was really whacked by Hurricane Sandy, and Harvey Cedar was no exception. But some say that the towns that thought far enough ahead, and did continual sand replenishment and built dunes over the years, came out ahead of the others. If you saw the disappearing beaches, you would have a hard time believing this, but they say it could have been a lot worse it it weren't for the town's foresight.
Some towns on Long Beach Island, and luckily Harvey Cedar was one of them, realized their vulnerability and built dunes that were wide and high, and suffered less than other barrier island towns. These dunes, built by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2010 at a cost of $25 million, protected the oceanfront homes from being swallowed up by the ocean, as was the case in locations like Mantoloking and Lavalette. Many homeowners protested vehemently about the expensive preventive plan, because it would ruin the view from their ocean front homes. Ironically, these very homes would probably have been destroyed by the storm, but were protected by the dunes instead. Further irony, the views were restored when Sandy wiped away parts of the dunes, but not the houses! The town is only three blocks wide in one part and would have been completely inundated, as Manasquan was, if it were not for the dunes.
Nevertheless, the devastation, and the washed up beaches was incredible and residents will be digging their way out for a long time.
A month after the devastation, homeowners were slowly returning to their houses to start the cleanup and repair. Some do what they can be themselves, others are hiring contractors. If you have a big investment in a house that you rent out during the season, you want to get it up and running as soon as possible.
Right after Thanksgiving, when the streets were once again navigable, the town conducted a huge clean up, clearing away the accumulated trash, debris, and sand.
The cleanup and cleanout will continue all the residents and of course the summer visitors, are determined that they will be wiggling their toes in the Atlantic and downing lobsters at the Shellfish Company as soon as the summer breezes return to LBI.
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