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Sandy Ravaged Beach Towns Prepare For Storm

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By Robin Rieger

ORTLEY BEACH, N.J. (CBS) – From bay head where over 18 beachfront home owners paid to build a wall with boulders to protect their properties and others nearby from the ocean, to Ortley Beach where new huge dunes form a barrier against the waves, beach towns hit hard by superstorm Sandy are still trying to recover.

Now the storm has many homeowners scrambling.

Toms River beaches, including Ortley had a massive dune rebuilding project after superstorm Sandy that should prevent the storm driven ocean from further damaging most homes.

But Public Works crews had to fill in the gap where the waves were crashing close to a business and condo complex with a private beach.

“What we had to do was create a makeshift dune that you see over here to connect the beach dunes to create some sort of barrier,” said Public Works director Lou Amoruso.

Crews wanted to protect nearby homes from potential flooding from the storm.

One home owner hopes sand bags will hold any water at bay. Other homeowners are taking protective steps too.

“We’ve moved all the equipment to higher ground,” said Mike Pedano. His home was two weeks from completion when Sandy hit. The set back was devastating and another storm creates more worry.

“We want to get back to where we were before the storm,” Pedano explained.

The Olsen family lives on the bay in Brick Township and will keep officials voluntary evacuation order in mind as conditions worsen.

“If it starts coming in our driveway too much, were going,” said Michelle Olsen.

Bay front homes like theirs are another concern for officials monitoring the barrier island communities for high tide overnight.

“We told people to move their vehicles. We’ve even moved some of our vehicles to higher ground to protect them, we can get to them but they won’t get damaged,” said Amoruso.

Amoruso says they expect beach erosion and flooding in the bay, especially at high tide early Thursday morning. He says he hopes mandatory evacuations don’t become necessary.

Officials say there are about 250 beach homes occupied now, out of about 6000.

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