It's a long way back from a catastrophic hurricane. In Brick Township on the New Jersey shore, they still have a long way to go — but they're making progress.
Money is flowing to homeowners trying to elevate their homes, but many applications for assistance have been denied or have been withdrawn, reports the Brick Shorebeat (see: "181 Brick Homeowners Get House-Raising Grants; More Withdrawn or Denied," by Daniel Nee).
"The grants, which normally provide up to $30,000 toward the raising of one's home that was damaged during Sandy, are funded through a federal disaster recovery aid package and administered by the state Department of Environmental Protection," the paper explains. "But as the state continues to make progress in submitting applications for approval, many are continuing to be denied. In Brick, the statistics show that of the 625 applications, 243 were denied – more than were approved – and 201 were withdrawn before they could be approved or denied." Applications can be denied because of paperwork mistakes or missed deadlines, or because the house has been modified since the storm.
Federal money is also set to flow to the municipal government it Brick, reports the Brick Patch (see: "Brick Getting One Of State's Biggest Superstorm Sandy Recovery Grants: $470,000," by Tom Davis). "Four neighborhoods in Brick were heavily impacted by Sandy: the Shore Acres area, Bay Harbor and Cherry Quay neighborhoods, Barrier Island area and the Princeton and Midstreams neighborhood," the Patch reports. "The grants will fund the study and preparation of neighborhood plans that will include resiliency techniques for flood prone areas, as well as design standards and capital improvements to be made within each of the neighborhoods." The grants will also fund various town planning efforts, as well as work to streamline the town's permitting process.
One capital improvement that is making progress: the four-mile-long seawall designed to protect part of Brick Township as well as the community of Mantaloking, the well-to-do strip of shoreline where almost every one of the 521 houses was either damaged or destroyed when Sandy's storm surge cut a channel through the barrier island from the ocean to the Barnegat Bay. That seawall, made of driven steel panels, is 75% complete, NBC 10 in Philadelphia reports (see: Post-Superstorm Sandy Sea Wall 75 Percent Finished in Mantoloking, Brick," by Wayne Parry).
"The steel pilings are being covered in sand to provide makeshift dunes," the station reports. 'The work is intended to be complemented by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment project slated to start in March." Said Mayor John Ducey of Brick: "Eight thousand of our homes were damaged. This wall will prevent that from happening again."