Officials Visit Ideal Beach Project

On the two year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s landfall in New Jersey, Congressman Chris Smith, who represents some of the hardest hit towns at the shore, toured several areas slammed by Superstorm Sandy to assess recovery efforts.

Two years ago today, New Jersey rallied to help those in need after Superstorm Sandy unleashed devastation on our home state,” said Smith, who toured every town in his district and beyond within hours after the Superstorm hit New Jersey. “The damage to the shore communities was immense on a scale not seen before: towns across the state were ravaged, homes destroyed, thousands displaced with many residents reeling from the aftermath.

Mr. Smith yesterday joined Howell Mayor Bill Gotto and Deputy Mayor Rob DiCastro at the Mariner’s Cove community in Howell Township along the Manasquan River to see the sites of four demolished homes that were heavily damaged by Sandy and also Hurricane Irene in 2011, and sole remaining home slated for demolition. The homes were purchased by the township with state and federal funding.

He later joined Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray and Deputy Mayor Anthony Fiore to tour the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers beach replenishment and restoration project on Ideal Beach in Middletown, and the still-damaged Bray Avenue Bridge on the Middletown-Port Monmouth border, and a Middletown home on Roop Avenue still in need of demolition.

Smith also met with the highest official at FEMA, Director Craig Fugate, and pressed FEMA to approve a 90 percent federal share for FEMA funding going to all Jersey public assistance programs that pay for cleanup and reconstruction costs—instead of the initially planned 75 percent. The resulting savings added up to millions of dollars which local towns and counties were spared.

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