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PHOTOS: Beach Boulevard Looked Like 'War Zone' After Sandy

Residents assess damage and sort through belongings

As you drive down Beach Boulevard in Forked River, you come to a police checkpoint where an officer confirms your proof of residency before sending you down the remainder of the road where Hurricane Sandy decimated homes.

Residents go into their homes just to come back out with one more item that was soiled by storm surge and would be left at the curb.

“Yard sale!” one resident jokingly called out.

Personal belongings are beginning to line the street as residents return to find their homes severely damaged if not totaled after evacuating from what is said to be a 100-year storm.

“It was a sight to see,” Monica Kuhn said. “It was awful”

Kuhn returned to a home full of muck, water and seaweed on Tuesday and has been working with 10 others to clean and start over. Mud was approximately two feet high inside the home; seaweed was up to the windows.

She as well as many other Beach Boulevard residents are finding neighbors items on their property — boats, furniture, lawn ornaments, certificates and more.

Kuhn’s friends and family have been assisting to rip carpets out and rummage through damaged possessions.

“We’re trying to save everything we can,” Kuhn said.

Which does not seem like much as their curbside pile is more than 15 feet long and growing.

When asked what’s next and how the family will move on from this, Kuhn said, “I have no idea.”

Her family is currently split up, staying among different friends and family members.

“It’s not a comfortable feeling. This is my home,” she said. “Everything is garbage.”

Some homes higher up were able to withstand the storm. Lisa and Patrick O’Hara actually chose to stay in their home one block from Beach Boulevard rather than evacuate.

“It’s a sturdy house,” said Lisa O’Hara, who has lived there for 22 years.

The couple actually walked around the neighborhood until dark on Monday when they took shelter in their home.

The first floor, which is used for storage, sustained flooding. The O’Hara’s inhabited the second floor of the home. But because the house is partially up on wooden beams, the couple felt the wind.

“It was really windy. You feel it move,” Lisa O’Hara said.

With a wind cage, she determined winds hit more than 80 mph.

“We lost some stuff but nothing so horrible,” she said. “You’re not going to beat that kind of water.”

The homes hit by the Barnegat Bay carry a stench as the saltwater sets into the structures and begins to warp cabinets and furniture.

That’s the smell that carried throughout Patricia Doyle’s house.

Doyle drove slowly down the road and braced herself as she returned home for the first time since the storm.

“The lawns looked like a war zone,” she said. “I really needed moral support to walk through the door.”

Doyle, too, had a house damaged by 18 inches of water. She had to have all her wooden floors torn out. A portion of her back wall had been pushed in.

“I’m alive and my cats are alive,” she said.

Traveling even further down Beach Boulevard, are two homes missing most of the backsides.

Mike Van Pelt was renting a portion of one of those homes. After returning home on Wednesday, he found 18 inches of water, muck and his bathroom in his bedroom.

“I lost a lot of my belongings,” he said.

Powerful tidal waves swept through the back of the house and moved his bed to the other side of the room.

“There’s really nothing you can do but take your valuables,” he said. “You can’t be upset. At least we’re still alive. Our house can be replaced.”

Evy Sudol November 02, 2012 at 01:05 PM
So sad!
chantel November 02, 2012 at 01:19 PM
My niece lived on hauser and lost everything
er nurse November 02, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Is there any volunteer services being set up? How can I help?
cherieatcosta November 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
this is where my daughter live very sad we went to her house to see what we can save not much to save she lost most all my heart goes out to all of you so sorry
PeopleAnnoyMe November 02, 2012 at 01:45 PM
We have power on now.. Beach Blvd., and Sandy Hook Drive
GB Shore November 02, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Same story down on Capstan and Montauk Drive. I just went to the car wash to get all the sea water off my car (never thought I'd be there after all the water came over my bulkhead and down my street). Chief Nally was there and I thanked him for the GREAT job the police did in securing our neighborhood. Thank you VERY much Lacey Police.
SDP November 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I have a home at the end of Leilani, I just got a call from my neighbor, that my dock and deck are ripped up, and we had about 4 foot of water. If anyone is in the area can they take a picture. Thanks.
Kim D'Addario November 02, 2012 at 02:54 PM
AGREED!!! Thank you to the LACEY PD!!! I have thanked any and all of them I came in contact with so far. God Bless all in our town that sustained damage and loss.
Favorite Teacher November 02, 2012 at 03:41 PM
**When is FEMA coming to Lacey???
christina onorato November 02, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I am very sorry to all of you who have lost everything. I used to be a resident to waterview way and heron court. We now live in north carolina..and tried to warn family still in this area....I wish you all the best and stay safe..Christina O.
Elaine November 02, 2012 at 11:08 PM
The Lacy United 'Methodist Church is set up as.a shelter, they have food, clothes, bedding, , dog & cat food, wash clothes, sleep. They have 3 meals a day 7:00 breakfast, 12:00 lunch & 6:00 dinner. Any questions 609-693-5222....
Concerned November 03, 2012 at 12:53 AM
The one house in the pictures housed the people who robbed my house down the street and have looted recently. Main lagoon built-in pool. Watch what you have left
LT Guy November 03, 2012 at 12:42 PM
Elaine, Nice job on the story and kudos to the Police and Firefighters of Lacey Township for their above and beyond work in this crisis!
LT Guy November 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Also, even bigger Kudos th the Rec Folks who came out to transport people with their bus in the teeth of the storm!!
Kathleen Gough November 04, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Does anyone know how it was on Polaris Ct.? Did any homes get damaged or flooded there?
Kim D'Addario November 04, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Hi Kathleen....Polaris Court made it through with minimal damage or flooding.
Louie November 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
does anyone know if there is power on the other side of second bridge on beach blvd? Tamiami?
SDP November 04, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Yesterday, I returned to my house on Leilani, no electric or gas. Check firstenergycorp.com/ to keep updated for your vicinity.
WhyohWhy November 08, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Yes there is a ton of volunteer crews going to to houses to help from the Lacey United Methodist Church on Lacey Road... Call them .
Grace November 09, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Does anybody know the condition of Tamiami Road?

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