Ron Cop, head of the Stafford Township Department of Public Works, reports the cleaning has begun in marshes and back bays just south of the bridge.
The cleaning contracts use the Manahawkin Bridge and Causeway as a dividing line for the contracted cleaning crews. Boots are on the ground cleaning what's being called "wet debris."
Some of this is happening in the area just south of Beach Haven West, an area hit very hard when the Sandys winds shifted, sending all the water and debris from Long beach Island and other areas slamming into the bridges. The Causeway bridge acted like a huge dam.
This left the surge of water nowhere to go but Beach Haven West, West Creek and Tuckerton, and backing into southern Long Beach Island areas.
Cop was out in the area surveying on the day before the last storm, stopping by to see what - if any debris - he could remove before the storm came. He asked me if I was ready for "Round 2." We both smiled, wondering if it will ever end.
Ron knows I've been around, looking for debris areas to clean. I shared all the new ones I had found. I directed his attention to Mallard Island area marsh that is still full of boats and debris. He then left to investigate the situation.
The mayor also checked in with us today, updating me on the FEMA Map studies underway. If you have noticed, there has been a group pf engineers around town, accessing damages done by the storms and documenting homes that have been dropped into the V zones. They are coming up with professionally prepared studies, trying to leave no room for FEMA to refuse the evidence.
The wave action zones, as well, are in question here, as homes some one mile from the bay are listed in the V and wave velocity zones.
Other news: The town is awaiting approval from state Department of Environmental Protection in many areas to use road tailing to repair and resurface roads. Tailing is a sustainability effort that saves millions in costs.
I was going to hold this story a day and go take pictures, but with all the rain on the way, I thought it was better to get this out.
Also in town news: the Robin Hood Foundation and mayor's office are working out the final details of a grant for our residents. Details are to follow soon.
Still no action yet on the barge at the bridge. But it was checked on by the Coast Guard and some state officials this week.
Also, bridge survey crews were out, as well, and could be seen on Bay Avenue and Route 72, taking measurements. A helicopter that I believe came from the Environmental Protection Agency was hovering over the spill site Saturday. Today, tides began to lower in the back bays.
One more note: Beach Haven's Future is a group developed to help the business owners of Beach Haven who were hit hard in the downtown district. A fund-raising event will be held March 23 at Buckalew's Restaurant on Long Beach Boulevard in Beach Haven at 4 p.m.
Entertainment, a silent auction and drink specials will be included, and the Diablo Sandwich Band will perform. The event will directly benefit many first responders who lost so much while helping others, and while losing there own homes.
Reminder: please report suspicious activity and trucks cars to Stafford Township Police. Or the State Polic . Report all scrappers or anyone visiting your home, posing as building contractors or FEMA-approved building reps.