|Photo by Jack Reynolds|
Loads of sand are dumped on the beach to
offset erosion at Merivale and Nelson avenues.
There’s no doubt the weekend’s blizzard hit Beach Haven hard as 100 dump truck loads of sand were brought in first thing to offset severe beach erosion at Merivale and Nelson avenues. But the accrued damage is characteristic of being hit by a nor’easter, said George Gilbert, superintendent of the Beach Haven Public Works Department.
“That’s our normal spot; it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. It wasn’t like (Superstorm) Sandy,” he stated. “That’s the only place we trucked in sand. We have scattered erosion up and down the rest of the town, on the front of the dunes. But there’s nothing major there, so we’ll just address that as we can.”
For the affected beaches, 62 trucks of sand were brought in on Monday, and the rest of the 38 lots were delivered on Tuesday.
“They’ve got a boatload of dump trucks running up and down the Boulevard, dumping sand,” Beach Haven Police Capt. Matt Greenwood stated on Monday. He noted a geotube in the location is what saved the homes.
By late Tuesday morning, crews were doing the final grading.
Although it was a seamless (yet “busy”) process, Gilbert said beach replenishment, which was supposed to start last spring before it was eventually pushed back to March after the dredges were rerouted to Georgia, “would have definitely eliminated our issues.”
On the flipside, flooding from the bay was a big problem for the town during the blizzard. Long Beach Boulevard had anywhere from 2 to 4 feet of water, depending on the area. Some residences and businesses required cleanup.
It took Beach Haven Fire Department members about five hours to clean the firehouse Sunday afternoon after they were forced to open the doors Saturday evening due to street flooding.
“We didn’t want the pressure on the door to blow out the bottom because that happened during Sandy also,” said Beach Haven Fire Chief Matt Letts, noting the firehouse took in about a foot of water.
A few auxiliary members as well as members of the Beach Haven First Aid Squad joined the cleanup, to help wash the trucks and mop and disinfect the floors and rooms.
Power outages were also an issue for people during the storm. The electricity went out in 1,600 residences on Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. During that time, one resident was voluntarily evacuated from a condominium and brought to the first aid squad building on Engleside Avenue.
Throughout the weekend, the squad’s Beach Haven division responded to a total of four medical calls, two of which were for the same person, according to Deborah Whitcraft, a trustee of the company.
— Kelley Anne Essinger
This article was published in The SandPaper.