Date Set for the Repopulation of the Northern Barrier Island [VIDEO]
The Mayors of Toms River, Brick and Seaside Heights set a date for the repopulation of the Northern Barrier Island.
Pending approval from the Governor, residents can move back into homes that are habitable and visitors will have unfettered access beginning on January 7th.
During a press conference Friday, Toms River Mayor Thomas Keleher and Brick Mayor Steve Acropolis say they, along with Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers, chose the January 7th date to give residents time to prepare and to insure that all the utilities are operational, conditions required in order to get a waiver from the Governor to lift his Mandatory evacuation order.
During the meeting, the Mayors began signing a letter asking Governor Chris Christie to relieve the towns of Toms River, Seaside Heights and Brick from the impact of his Executive Order 104. However, Keleher says before it's approved they must certify that area is safe and utilities such as electricity, water, gas and sewage are up and running.
Keleher says repopulating plans cover the Bricktown portion of the Northern Barrier Island, The North Beaches of Toms River and Seaside Heights. He says the North Beaches includes Ocean Beaches 1, 2, 3, Chadwick Beach, Normandy Beach, Monterey Beach and all those beaches along that area. It does not however, include Ortley Beach which sustained the most damage to the beach, homes, utilities and the infrastructure during the storm.
Acropolis says by unfettered access, "there will be no more check points. You'll be able to drive over the bridge in Mantaloking or in Seaside, drive to your home, drive to your neighbors home, go help a friend fix up their home. So whatever you want to do, there will be unfettered access to the barrier island. He says it also means visitors who don't live on the island can travel, site see and patronize businesses as well.
Acropolis says the National Guard will remain on the island either until January 7th or until emergency management officials decide. After that there will be a beefed up police presence on the Island.
Keleher says they will be posting regular updates on the Toms River Township website