After removing the checkpoint at Route 72 for people going to Long Beach Island, traffic subsided, and many residents of LBI got their first glimpse of their homes since Sandy.
"When I first saw LBI and the Boulevard, it didn't look that bad," according to one eyewitness. "But as you get further south on the island, it looks like a warzone."
Long Beach Island emergency management officials this morning started a "grab and go" system to enable people to pick up needed items such as checkbooks, medication, legal documents and similar items.
Law enforcement members patrolled the island, to keep people from "sightseeing."
Long Beach Township Mayor Joseph Mancini and other officials noted the "grab and go" was being tightly controlled, and "sightseeing" of the island was not be allowed, but, some gawkers could be seen trying to snap photos of teh ocean.
Dumpsters were available around the island. Township officials asked people to use the dumpsters to clean out their refrigerators of perishable items.
Since there is no electric, water, or sewer service in some parts of the island, residents of Holgate and North Beach were not allowed to "grab and go." "We also have to be first concerned with people's safety and the safety of the personnel who will be protecting them," said Surf City Councilman Peter Hartney.
Monday is the only time currently scheduled for people to access the island as officials are keeping a wary eye on a potential nor'easter storm that could strike the area mid week.
But, island officials noted, they are allowing New Jersey State Licensed Plumbers and Electricians, and registered builders and home caretaking companies to come on the island to secure homes (shut off utilities and winterize homes).
All plumbers, electricians and home caretaking companies should have documentation (work order or other proof of work) that allows them to be on propert, according to township officials.
Homeowners should contact their respective contractors and make sure they have proper documentation. All plumbers, electricians and home caretaking companies that will be working within the Joint Emergency Operation Towns (Long Beach Township, Ship Bottom, Harvey Cedars, and Barnegat Light) are to report to the Long Beach Township Municipal Complex where they will be registered and issued a contractors pass.
Mancini and other island officials are warning people that the island is still under unsafe conditions, with no potable water and debris littering the island.