52° Mostly Cloudy

SEA BRIGHT: DONOVAN’S REBUILD BEGINS

donovan's 052616donovan's 071015 3Obliterated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and revived last summer as an open-air bar (seen at right), Sea Bright’s Donovan’s Reef is finally on track to having a permanent home again, NJ.com reports. The oceanfront watering hole is two weeks into a construction project that’s estimated to take about 10 months, the news site reports.

“I’m looking forward to the return of a Donovan’s that, like the rest of the new Seas Bright, is built to last,” Mayor Dina Long told NJ.com. “Donovan’s is an integral piece of the Sea Bright fabric. Without Donovan’s in Sea Bright, it feels like something’s missing.” (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT: RUM RUNNER RESURRECTED

rum runner 050316 2The bar in a glass-walled room one patron called “the aquarium” offers panoramic views of the Shrewsbury River. Below right, restaurant principal Tim McLoone with an opening-night guest. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tim mcloone 050316Three and a half years after the original was damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy, McLoone’s Rum Runner reopened Tuesday night in the form of dazzling behemoth of a “jewel box” beside the Shrewsbury River in Sea Bright.

Above the river, actually. Unlike its modest predecessor, which sat barely above high-tide, the new one is elevated to keep all but the lowest part of a stairwell dry even during the worst storm surge, and provide parking underneath at other times, said its designers.

Read More »

ON THE GREEN: FILM TRACKS SANDY RECOVERY

Here’s the trailer to “After Sandy,” a new film made over the past three years by Middetown resident Joe Minnella to document the rebuilding efforts at the Jersey shore in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Minnella and Anthony Jude Setaro of Red Bank, who produced the film, are alumni of Red Bank Catholic High School.

To view the full  100-minute film, click “like” at the “After Sandy” Facebook page and you’ll receive a link to the film page at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The film will be available for viewing until 8 p.m Friday. (Click to enlarge)

 

SEA BRIGHT: LIFELONG HOME REBUILT

20140617-181947.jpgDesiree Pierce, who lost her lifelong Sea Bright home to Hurricane Sandy, celebrated the completion of its rebuilding by volunteers Tuesday. Pierce, at center above with son Junior, helped Shareefah Taylor of Americorps, one of the volunteer organizations involved in restoring the New Street house, move a cake to the fridge. (Photo by John T. Ward. )

SEA BRIGHT: MCLOONE’S OK’D TO REBUILD

sb mcloone's 110512McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright, destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, will be rebuilt at its Ocean Avenue location abutting the Shrewsbury River and reopen before summer 2015, according to a report by Word On the Shore. Under plans approved by the planning board last week, the new version of the restaurant will be elevated 10 feet, according to the report. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: VOLUNTEERS START HOME REHABS

sb st bernard 1 032614Americorps volunteers painting the framework of Desiree Pierce’s home Wednesday to encapsulate any lingering mold. Below, Pierce and daughter, Gigi Burke, have been displaced from their home since Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb gigi desiree 032614People who’ve never been through something like Hurricane Sandy don’t understand, says Gigi Burke.

“They don’t understand losing everything,” the 23-year-old Sea Bright resident said. “And then, they don’t understand the process and steps it takes to get back into your home.”

In the 500-plus days since Burke, her two siblings and their mother lost use of their New Street home to the surging Shrewsbury River and Atlantic Ocean, she’s heard “the question” from people who’ve temporarily put her up more than once.

“It was basically, ‘when are you leaving?’ but in a nice way,” she said Wednesday, amid of a flurry of rebuilding activity finally getting underway at her home.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT RISING TO HELP REBUILD HOMES

sb elevations 4 060513Sea Bright homes being elevated last June. Officials estimate 80 percent of the town’s homes are still vacant. Below, Chris Wood, flanked by Pete Forlenza and Zack Rosenburg, addresses a gathering in Rumson Tuesday night. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb rising 022514Sixteen months after the churning Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River met on Sea Bright’s streets in the fury of a hurricane, the borough is still something of a ghost town, said Chris Wood.

Yes, the business district has seen a welcome comeback. “But 80 percent of the homes on the side streets of Sea Bright are still vacant,” said Wood, a co-founder of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit that has raised and distributed close to $1.3 million in donated funds to some 300 families and 17 businesses in town since Hurricane Sandy hit.

Now, though, Sea Bright Rising is partnering with another nonprofit born in the aftermath of a hurricane, with the goal of rebuilding as many as 100 homes in Sea Bright, Rumson and Highlands – at no charge to those homeowners.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: SHAKING OFF SANDY

Six months after it was all but obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, Sea Bright is gradually getting back on its feet, as evident in the extensive repair and rebuilding underway.

redbankgreen photographers Peter Lindner and John T. Ward teamed up to create this slideshow of images of the town before, during – Lindner gets the credit for all of those – and after the historic October 29, 2012, storm, with the final shot in each grouping taken over the weekend of April 27 and 28, 2013.

BEACH CLUBS TARGET SUMMER REOPENINGS

Sands Beach Club, above, and Ship Ahoy, in the distance, were wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, but Sands will come back this summer, its owner said. Edgewater, below, is shooting to be fully operational by Memorial Day. (Photo below by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The seven beach clubs that run along Sea Bright’s Ocean Avenue – Driftwood, Edgewater, Chapel, Seabright, Sands, Surfrider and Ship Ahoy – not only own a large portion of the borough’s beachfront property, but also represent the backbone of its summer economy.

None were spared by Hurricane Sandy, which inflicted major damage to some and obliterated others.

But the owners and managers of three clubs redbankgreen spoke to this week are gearing up for the fast-approaching summer season, as well as making plans for the future.

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: AN OLD SALT & HIS PLOT OF SAND

Johnny Deckert shows off an aerial view of his home while waiting to get back into town for the first time after the hurricane on November 3. Below, Deckert clearing debris from his side yard last month. (Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Johnny Deckert is one of those people who make Sea Bright Sea Bright.

A 78-year-old borough resident and longtime commercial fisherman in a town that was once full of them, Deckert has seen many changes, but none quite as drastic as those wrought by Hurricane Sandy.

His story is proof that the storm didn’t only damage homes and businesses. It tore out a few pages of history as well.

Read More »

FAIR HAVEN DOCK REPAIRS SET

Part of the dock was washed up onto a neighboring yard in the hurricane. (Photo by Joe Fisher. Click to enlarge)

By JOE FISHER

Fair Haven’s municipal dock, washed away by Hurricane Sandy, is expected to reopen by Memorial Day weekend, borough officials said Monday night.

The repair job is expected to cost $90,000, borough Engineer Richard Gardella reported to the borough council.

Read More »

CHRISTIE, HUD SECRETARY TOUT SANDY AID

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, center, with local merchant Frank Bain, left, outside the Sea Bright firehouse Thursday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Governor Chris Christie made yet another stop in Sea Bright Thursday afternoon, this time joined by federal Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan to tout the first allocation of money from a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package passed by Congress last month.

“Just yesterday, I was able to say to the governor, here is $1.8 billion to help this state, and Sea Bright, start on the road to a full recovery,” Donovan said. “The law said we had to get that money out in 60 days, we did it in one-tenth that time – the fastest we’ve ever made an allocation of that funding.”

Read More »

SEA BRIGHT: UPLIFTING IDEAS FROM KATRINA

Rod Scott addresses Sea Bright residents on post-hurricane home-elevation techniques. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Sea Bright residents were greeted with a bit of southern flavor and optimism Wednesday night in the form of two men from the Gulf Coast who guided their communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Tommy Longo, ex-mayor of Waveland, Mississippi, and a home-elevation expert made presentations at the latest in a series of post-storm town hall meetings held in the aftermath of the Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

Longo, who called his small beach town “ground zero for Hurricane Katrina,” saw more than 95 percent of Waveland destroyed, with the loss of approximately fifty lives.

“There were 32 homes on my street, and now seven years later, there are only three,” said Longo, who served as mayor for 16 years. “Our town was very much like Sea Bright in a lot of ways, before and after the storm. Believe me, I know what you are going through.”

Read More »