Mayor estimates Sandy brought $438M in damage

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Crews were working overtime this week trying to dig Central Avenue out from the massive amount of sand that washed over the bulkhead in the south end during Sandy’s visit. The damage was extensive, and both city workers and property owners still have a mammoth task ahead cleaning debris from roads and lawns. Crews were working overtime this week trying to dig Central Avenue out from the massive amount of sand that washed over the bulkhead in the south end during Sandy’s visit. The damage was extensive, and both city workers and property owners still have a mammoth task ahead cleaning debris from roads and lawns.

OCEAN CITY — Clean up efforts continue in Ocean City after Hurricane Sandy, as over 50 pieces of equipment are being utilized nearly round the clock, removing in a few days over 1,000 tons of debris, Mayor Jay Gillian said.

The unprecedented action is more than 10 times the amount of debris generated on a busy day in the summer, which is about 90 tons. While the city continues to assess the damage for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Gillian, speaking at a Monday, Nov. 5 press conference in his office, said the storm has caused at least $438 million in damage, $31 million of that includes the beach and dunes.

While he is concerned with the monumental physical damage to the island, Gillian said it is the emotional toll the storm has taken on the citizenry that worries him.

“Our downtown got devastated, businesses are going to have a hard time getting started again,” he said. “These next couple weeks are going to be tough. People are going to hit the wall.”

Gillian said dealing with the trauma of losing a home or business, a job, income and the arduous task of getting back on track takes a toll. He said he wanted a coordinated effort to help people, no matter what the issue is and “no matter what it takes,” to solve the problem.

With the mission of providing food, shelter and clothing to those affected by Hurricane Sandy, the city has joined with the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, local civic groups and local churches to create OCNJ CARE, a cleanup and recovery effort. The non-profit group is the central location for information, to volunteer, donate or request help.

“This is what Ocean City is all about, neighbor helping neighbor,” Gillian said. “It’s really special here in Ocean City.”

He said various organizations joined forces to create one central group organizing the volunteer effort.

“It’s going to be a long time,” he said. “The biggest thing is that we all need to work together, under one roof. Ocean City is really an amazing, caring place. We can do this.”

Drew Fasy, chairman of the organization’s board of directors, said getting the island back on its feet would be a long process.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. “The island is in shambles.”

Fasy said the biggest task is finding homes for those displaced.

“We’re trying to help people with no roof over their head,” he said.

“Our group has no overhead, all of the money donated will go towards housing,” he said.

Fasy complimented the city’s public works, firefighters and police officers for a job well done.

Rev. Brian Roberts of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, a member of the organization’s board of directors, said residents could ask for help if needed or volunteer to offer help.

The organization will attempt to help victims navigate the complicated FEMA process, and go door-to-door helping senior citizens in need.


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