Last Jersey Shore town reopens post-Sandy

Feb. 23, 2013 at 1:43 AM
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MANTOLOKING, N.J., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Mantoloking, N.J., allowed residents to move back in Friday, four months after Superstorm Sandy, the last Jersey Shore community to take the step.

Bob McIntyre, the town's emergency director, told The Star-Ledger of Newark only six households had registered by Friday. He expects more next week even though 200 of the 521 houses in town were swept away or rendered uninhabitable by the storm that hit the Mid-Atlantic region at the end of October.

Mantoloking, which had a population of 296 in the 2010 Census, growing to about 5,000 in the summer, had the highest average income in New Jersey and ranked 15th in the United States. The town is at the north end of the Barnegat Peninsula, a 20-mile spit of sand that ends in the south with Island Beach State Park.

Sandra Witkowski told the newspaper her view has changed since the storm. Looking towards the ocean, she can see what's left of her neighbor's house and to the west another house now in the middle of the bay.

Witkowski, who moved to Mantoloking when her husband retired more than a decade ago, said they are thinking about moving.

"It's a little bit scary even though we're glad to be home," she said. "Our neighbors and friends have lost so much. There's a little of a guilt feeling that our house is still here."

She has made one decision. She used to be nicknamed Sandy but is now Sandra.

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