Recovery continues in Longport

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LONGPORT – Over the weekend, 14 men and six construction vehicles from Camden County arrived here to help with the recovery effort, Mayor Nick Russo said Monday.

“We removed a tremendous amount of sand from our streets. Our plan is to get as much sand off of the streets before there is another rainstorm,” he said. “Our concern, of course, is trying to prevent sand from entering the storm drain, which will naturally cause flooding unless they are clear.”

Russo said he has been in contact with other mayors to see if their city workers could assist in the recovery. He said the main thing is to get the sand off the street and over the bulkhead, where it can be distributed across the beach.

“I think what we have to look at after the storm is, number one, I want to ascertain if the homes that are elevation 12, whether or not they had any water. I do not believe any of our homes, with the exception of any homes at the point, at elevation 12 received any water,” Russo said.

He said any new building construction or major renovation is required to be 12 feet above sea level, and electrical service must be underground.

“I think that part of Longport, that aspect of Longport works. Sometimes people scoffed at that; now they realize how important that is,” the mayor said.

The only part of the borough that did not get sand on its streets was between 36th and 32nd avenues – the only section of Longport that has dunes.

“Although it is a very controversial subject, I’m going to ask the commission to form a committee to take a look at this and to see what the people think. The controversy is, everyone wants the ocean view; however, with this kind of ocean storm the dune did what it was supposed to do.”

The borough sustained damage to its bulkhead on the ocean and to jetties that were compromised. There were three streets where asphalt at the beach end of the street was damaged.

The public works department received 100 calls during the storm, and police and fire communications were diverted to Egg Harbor Township when communication in the borough was disrupted, Russo said.

Longport has placed 20 large trash receptacles throughout town for people to use, and if people want to supply their own, the fees will be waived, he said, but residents are asked to keep them on their own property. 

“I am pleading with people to be patient. It’s going to be a long process. There was a considerable amount of damage when you total everything up,” said Russo. “We’ll bounce back, but we need people to be patient with us.”


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