Long Beach Island mayor: "We wouldn't be here," without recent beach fill projects
Long Beach Island officials are crediting recent federal beach fills with sparing the island from even greater damage.
"If the replenishment project wasn't there on the beaches we wouldn't be here either," said Harvey Cedars Mayor John Oldham.
Hurricane Sandy walloped LBI with damaging winds, rain and major flooding, according to the island's office of emergency management.
The island was "swept over" by storm surge, which has disrupted utilities, destroyed many homes and covered island streets in sand. The storm caused a breach in the southern part of the island in the Holgate section.
Even so, officials say it would have been worse without recent sand and dune projects that bolstered local beaches.
Harvey Cedars sand project was completed in 2010.
Long Beach Township Police Chief Michael Bradley said although the Brant Beach section of beaches were hit, they fared well.
The beaches that were just replenished look good, Bradley said.
"We're glad the project held up," he said.
The project was completed on a two-mile section of beach earlier this year.
Beaches in Harvey Cedars suffered severe erosion, said Police Chief Thomas Preiser.
The beaches were breached south to Bergen Avenue and the ocean met the bay, Preiser said.
Surf City received a beachfill project in 2006-2007 and again in 2009 and Councilman Peter Hartney said this afternoon that the project did exactly what it was supposed to do.
"The dunes were hit and impacteds but the dunes that were built absorbed the hit," Hartney said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Philadelphia District has begun assessing its beach projects along the New Jersey coast, the agency reported Wednesday.
The Army Corps will be looking at how its projects fared and performed during the historic storm surge caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The District has 12 beach fill or beach nourishment projects including: sections of Long Beach Island; Brigantine Island; Atlantic City & Ventnor City; Ocean City; Avalon and Stone Harbor on 7-Mile Island and Cape May City and Lower Cape May Meadows.
The only area of beach where the ocean topped the dunes was from 22nd to 24th Street where the beachfill was not completed because residents did not sign easements, granting the corps and state DEP access to their property to complete the project three years ago.