• Credit: abclocal.go.com

Nobody knows how long it will take, or how many millions of dollars it will cost. But day by day, one drowned automobile or sunken boat or front door or kitchen sink at a time, crews are working to clean up the underwater mess left behind by Hurricane Sandy in the waters by the Jersey shore.

The Philadelphia Inquirer has this report: ("Clearing Sandy fallout from N.J. waters is grinding task," by Jacqueline L. Urgo). When Hurricane Sandy was over, the paper says, "60 houses from Mantoloking alone, plus dozens of cars and boats, hundreds of trees, and thousands of other objects, had washed out to sea or were deposited into the bay and the Intracoastal Waterway, creating boating hazards."

Contractor Matrix New World Engineering has been surveying the Jersey waters with side-scan sonar, the paper reports: "The engineers' acoustic imaging system is so precise that it can produce a 3-D image of an object as small as 10 inches across, depending on the conditions in the bay." They mark the objects with yellow flags, and then it's up to Alabama-based recovery experts CrowderGulf to "pick" the junk up out of the water.

"So far, about 2,000 cubic yards of submerged material and three cars have been removed from the bay off Mantoloking - about two or three truckloads a day," the Inquirer reports. Says CrowderGulf supervisor Buddy Young: "It's very sad to see this kind of thing, very sad. It never gets easy to look at."