Middle Township sees millions in Sandy damage, bayfront took a hit

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Homes sustained about $6.9 million worth of damage from Hurricane Sandy in Middle Township, according to an early Federal Emergency Management Agency report announced by a township official this week.

Among hardest hit areas in Middle by the storm were the bay communities, especially Reeds Beach.

At least one home washed out to sea, other houses were condemned, and some were deemed unsafe at Reeds Beach.

Part-time Reeds Beach resident Alice O'Mullane of Pennsylvania found the front of her back deck and a propane tank missing from her home and the bulkhead “beat up.”

She said she checked on the house on Saturday, and found that she was luckier than her neighbors.

At the home next door, a porch was ruined.

O'Mullane said she used to be a full-time Middle Township resident.

“Reeds Beach is Reeds Beach,” she said.  One can’t just leave the small community, O'Mullane said.

Middle Township Committeeman Tim Donohue provided preliminary estimates at Monday’s Township Committee meeting. Estimates to rebuild South Beach Avenue at Reeds Beach came in near $600,000, and $269,000 for Bennys Landing.

“It’s difficult to stand on Reeds Beach or even down in Del Haven or over on Bennys Landing and say, ‘We dodged a bullet’ because there is some significant damage over there,” said Mayor Dan Lockwood at the Township Committee meeting.

Also at Monday’s meeting, Francis Dearlove of Avalon Manor praised the township’s public works department’s efforts with Hurricane Sandy.

“Public works was a big part of coordinating some resources throughout the town to make sure we were able to move trees and get emergency vehicles where we had to. They were equally helpful in the cleanup,” Lockwood said.

Carl Karmilowicz of Avalon Manor also said the people who handled trash pickup following Sandy “did an excellent job.”

The three Township Committee members also lauded people who helped during the storm.

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