Reporting Michelle Durham
By Michelle Durham
OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Ocean City residents who live in the shore community’s south side plan to pack a Thursday evening council meeting to find out what local officials plan to do to fix the non-existent beach and dunes that they say threaten their homes.
They’re riled because of an ongoing beach replenishment program in the northern part of the city, while they say they sit and wait.
Wendy Smith’s Ocean City home is in the southern end. She’s lived there for 20 years and says she doesn’t begrudge Northern Ocean City residents, but Smith says trucking in thousands of pounds of sand isn’t going to work. But she questions how the municipality would get the estimated $4.5 million for a full replenishment program, including dune construction.
“Do it right. Put the money out now. Get the money back from FEMA, the state — wherever you can get funding from. Protect the houses, give the people the beach they are expecting to have when they come down to vacation and move forward.”
Smith says the beaches started to erode long before Superstorm Sandy, but estimates they lost five feet of beach post Sandy, threatening the safety of their homes, not to mention rental values.
“It would be like telling people, ‘you are going to go to the Poconos, but we’ve taken the mountains away.’”
Ocean City officials did not respond to our numerous calls for comment.