UPSTAIRS? NADA. DOWNSTAIRS? UTILITY POLE

It sounded a bit like an urban myth, but redbankgreen can now confirm it: Hurricane Sandy tossed a telephone pole into one of the units at the Anchorage Apartments in Sea Bright last week.

Upstairs tenants Melissa Enna and John Summonte, right, visited their unit Monday morning and found “not even a cracked window,” said Enna. Other than the fact that the lower part of their staircase is gone, “it looks like nothing ever happened,” she said.

Downstairs, not so lucky. Where the pole came from wasn’t yet known, but the apartment, which overlooks the Shrewsbury River, had been badly flooded. (Click to enlarge)

STORM SURGE LAYS WASTE TO LITTLE SILVER

Mountains of sopping wet insulation sat discarded on either side of Lippincott Road in Little Silver Friday. (Click to enlarge)

In Little Silver, numerous homes were badly damaged or left uninhabitable by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night, officials said.

At her future in-laws’ home on Little Silver Point Road, Erica Marsh, of Red Bank, said the furniture had been raised up off the floor before the storm, but a surge of water from the creek in their backyard entered the house and pushed it all to one side, blocking the front door.

“They were ready for some water, but not waves and floating pianos,” she told redbankgreen.

A 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew remains in effect in town, and checkpoints have been set up at Gooseneck Bridge and Seven Bridge Road, as well as entries to flood zone neighborhoods, according to a posting on the borough website.

More Little Silver photos after the jump…

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SEA BRIGHT: A WALK THROUGH THE WRECKAGE

A compilation of photos assembled into a video by someone identified on YouTube as ‘Chris M” documents a walk north into Sea Bright on Tuesday, the day after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage in the coastal town. (Click to enlarge)

‘LIVING SHORELINE’ SWAMPED BY LEGAL ISSUE

The foot of Prospect Avenue, where Red Bank plans to rebuild a deteriorated bulkhead, as seen last December. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Red Bank officials consider the idea of a “living shoreline” at the borough library a non-starter, and plan to seek grant money to replace a riverfront bulkhead there and at two other locations.

One day after borough officials described what they said is an insurmountable legal hurdle to the more eco-friendly solution favored by the American Littoral Society and other environmentalists, Administrator Stanley Sickels said the library property would get a new, impermeable bulkhead, as would an adjoining borough-owned parcel and one at the river end of Prospect Avenue.

“So you’re going to bulkhead the library, but you’re also going to bulkhead 94 West Front?” activist Cindy Burnham asked Sickels at Wednesday night’s council meeting, referring to a vacant borough-owned parcel that abuts the library site.

“We haven’t finalized plans, but I believe it would be prudent to do the library, 94 and Prospect Avenue all at once,” Sickels responded. “If we didn’t consider [a natural shoreline replacement] at the library, we wouldn’t consider it at 94.”

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TOWN WILL PURSUE SPRAYGROUND FUNDS

kramer-ballardLocust Avenue resident Leigh Kremer addresses the council as borough Engineer Christine Ballard listens. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Over the concerns of environmentalists, Red Bank will pursue grant funding for a ‘sprayground‘ in a riverside marsh that could end up costing $500,000.

A vote by the borough council Wednesday night to authorize a bid for a Monmouth County Open Spaces grant of $250,000, which the town would have to match, followed heartfelt appeals by West Side parents for a place for children to play and by others concerned about illicit activity in the overgrown Bellhaven Nature Area, at the western end of Locust Avenue.

“Our children on the West Side have nowhere to go,” River Street’s Rose Sestito, a mother of five and foster mother of three, told the governing body during a public hearing on the grant question. “Please consider the children.”

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RED BANK ‘SPRAYGROUND’ PLAN UNDER FIRE

bellhavenA proposal for a water-shooting playground at Red Bank’s little-used Bellhaven Nature Area has raised hackles among environmentalists. (Click to enlarge)

swimming-riverBy JOHN T. WARD

Wednesday night’s meeting of the Red Bank Council could be a water-balloon fight of sorts.

Members of the Environmental Commission, an advisory group, say they were alarmed to learn recently that the borough Parks & Rec department is considering Bellhaven Nature Area, a wetland preserve created just eight years ago, as a possible location for a ‘sprayground,’ a play area that enables kids to get deliriously soaked by nozzles built into fixed apparatus.

Lou DiMento – the lone remaining commission member who was involved in the original preservation effort –  and others say they were shocked to learn that the town might pursue a $250,000 Monmouth County Open Spaces grant, which it would have to match, in order to build the sprayground.

“That stunned us,” especially after the borough government told the commission that it couldn’t come up with a few hundred dollars for a sign to designate the nature area, nestled against the Swimming River at the western end of Locust Avenue, DiMento said.

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BURNHAM: MAPLE COVE MAKEOVER COMING

burnham-maple-coveCindy Burnham at Maple Cove in April, 2008.

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Is the wrangling over borough-owned land at the river end of Maple Avenue in Red Bank finally over?

Cindy Burnham, who’s been a thorn in the side of local officials with her campaign to spruce up popular gateway to the Navesink River, says so.

She tells redbankgreen that after months of wrangling with local officials, a deal is in place to get what she and other nature enthusiasts have been working for: two benches and a sign at Maple Cove, the unofficial name of the half-acre parcel.

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MORANA SEEDS PRESERVATION EFFORT

morana-lauraSuperintendent Laura Morana will give up half her pay raise this year to fund the effort at the Red Bank Primary School.

A push to transform the 17-acre Red Bank Primary School property alongside the upper Navesink River into a nature preserve and learning center is getting financial help from the borough schools superintendent.

Laura Morana has informed the board of education that she’ll to donate half of her scheduled raise in the coming year to the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation, a charitable organization created last fall to pursue the wetland project, according to a foundation press release issued Thursday.

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