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Jersey Strong

Seabrook shows love for Jersey Shore restoration efforts

Created date

October 22nd, 2013
Superstorm Sandy

A year after Superstorm Sandy, the Jersey Shore shows significant signs of restoration. Rebuilding efforts led by local government, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and town citizens have taken great strides in restoring the Shore that was nearly flattened last October.

Emotional connection

Many residents ofSeabrook, an Erickson Living community in Tinton Falls, N.J. which is just six miles from the Shore own second homes in the nearby beach towns, including Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach, Belmar, and Spring Lake. A lot of residents have an emotional connection to these towns, and we have a number of residents who, they or their family, own second homes. They ve been working with local authorities to rebuild, says Gary Engelstad, director of resident life. Pauline Possiel has owned a second home in Lavallette, a town that was hit hard by Sandy since 1969. All our family would come visit, including my sisters, and I have four grandsons who are lifeguards there, so we have a strong connection to Lavallette, she says. Pauline says that, luckily, she had flood insurance that paid for repairs to her house. She visits the house often, especially during summer months, from her full-time home at Seabrook. One of her sisters, Marilyn Giordano, was living in Lavallette during Hurricane Sandy and was evacuated. Seabrook was kind enough to let her stay in a furnished apartment when she was evacuated, Pauline says. Marilyn liked her stay so much that she eventually moved to Seabrook, along with her and Pauline s other sisters.

Witnesses to rejuvenation

On a sunny day in July, Engelstad and Sales Counselor Susan Coulson led a tour of the nearby beach towns for priority list members. We toured the towns to show how they have rebounded extremely well from Hurricane Sandy, Engelstad says. It was a beautiful day and an upbeat, optimistic trip to educate people on the rebuilding efforts. Engelstad says many of the people considering a move to Seabrook didn t realize how well the towns have rebuilt. It was a real eye-opener for some people who had seen the destruction but hadn t seen how strong [the towns] have come back, he says. Though each town has approached the restoration efforts differently, they all have rebuilt boardwalks, businesses, sand dunes, and buildings with the help of FEMA, local government, and the community.