By Robin Rieger
MANTOLOKING, NJ (CBS) – Devastation doesn’t begin to cover the scene in the Brick Township section of the barrier island over the Mantoloking Bridge. It looks like a war zone; homes here lost the battle with Sandy.
There are about 132 homes that will not be able to be inhabited again.
Mayor Steve Acropolis says 100 of them are in the Brick section of the barrier island, where there are 1,300 homes. Thirty-two homes on the mainland are also condemned.
“It’s heartbreaking — 132 families. We think it’s going to be more that can’t go back to their homes,” Mayor Acropolis says.
Many are multimillion dollar beachfront homes where the pounding storm surge didn’t wait for anyone to answer a door before charging right through. Some were in the path of water rushing down streets . Sixty of them, a collection of cottages known as “Camp Osborn,” burned, according to officials, when the electric or gas lines sparked a fire at the height of the storm.
There is no power, there is no water, the sewer facilities — although working, without water do not work properly — there is no natural gas.
Police Chief Rick Bergquist says that’s why no one is living here now. For the last ten days, residents have been able to get a first look at their homes by taking the same bus that transported the media for a tour Thursday.
Bricks Island real estate is valued at $1.3 billion, but Sandy changed all that.
Brick Township officials tell us that, starting Friday morning, residents in the Curtis Point section of this barrier island will be allowed to return with their contractors to winterize their homes and do whatever cleanup they can.