Lots of work ahead on bayfront after Sandy

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REEDS BEACH – Kurt Kelly’s house at Reeds Beach is made from 90 percent recycled materials and repurposed products.

His construction work paid off during Hurricane Sandy, he said.

Kelly’s family’s home on South Beach Avenue had three feet of water in the crawl space, rugs had to be dried out and the house lost some shingles, Kelly said.

Others didn’t fare so well. Some of the homes were condemned, others deemed unsafe and at least one washed out to the bay.

Kelly, who has lived in the home for 20 years, said he is the only full-time resident at the South Beach Avenue section of Reeds Beach.

Some homes at Reeds Beach are still boarded up. A big pile of debris sits outside one of the houses on South Beach Avenue. Sand still covers parts of South and North Beach avenues.

According to information provided by Middle Township Committeeman Tim Donohue, reconstruction work on South Beach Avenue would cost an estimated $543,800. Also in Middle Township, work at Bennys Landing would cost $269,400.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to cover 75 percent of the cost, according Donohue.

“FEMA gives us 55 percent upfront. We start [work] when we get that,” he said in an email Wednesday morning.

Kelly said he is hoping township officials will not forget houses damaged by Sandy. In an interview Tuesday afternoon, he raised concerns about wildlife and recreation.

“I made out well, personally,” Kelly said.

Part of the home is built with products intended for other building purposes, and he also used recycled material. He said the house is well built.

FEMA stopped by his home, evaluated and he was told money would be on its way.

But Kelly is moving on as if he is not going to receive any money.

During Hurricane Sandy, Kelly was on the first floor of his home. He said he didn’t hear much of Sandy but he could see it.

“The walls are really fortified well,” he said.

Kelly also remembers a nor’easter a few years ago that his house also survived. Some shingles came off, he said.

“Snow was really deep here,” he said.

Kelly said had been in the building business for about 30 years. In the 1990s, he worked on homes in Stone Harbor and Avalon.


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