LBI Homeowners Return For 1st Time, See Extent Of Damage - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

LBI Homeowners Return For 1st Time, See Extent Of Damage

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BEACH HAVEN WEST, N.J. -

Residents kept away from Long Beach Island ever since Hurricane Sandy hit have been allowed to return to their homes for the first time. Some are finding extensive damage, including feet of sand inside.

LBI was severely damaged in last week's storm. Residents were allowed back onto the island beginning at 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for in Holgate and North Beach, due to unsafe conditions in those areas.

FOX 29's Stephanie Esposito was there on Route 72 in Beach Haven West as vehicles started lining up for what officials were calling the "grab-and-go" before 4 a.m.

Some had trailers full of cleanup supplies. Another was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina down along the Gulf Coast.

To get back in, residents had to show a re-entry placard, a driver's license or proof of residence, such as a tax bill. Only one vehicle per residence was allowed to enter, and no children under 12 or pets were permitted. Nonresidents and those without proper residence documentation were not being granted entry.

Esposito reported that many are not even picking up pieces but taking pictures to send to family members and insurance companies to show exactly how bad the damage is.

She showed one oceanfront house that was pushed off its foundation, and you could see straight through it to the beach. The extent of the damage was phenomenal.

A car that had been parked under a beachfront home wound up several houses back, partly burried in sand.

One man Esposito interviewed earlier Monday said his family's beach house – originally his grandparents' – was struck by another free-floating home. Inside he found three feet of sand.

Residents said the worst interior damage tended to be to the first two or three houses on the beach. Those that are farther way tended to have siding ripped off, shingles missing and some water inside.

Esposito said it was heartbreaking to see people arriving to see the conditions of their homes, both for those who spend summers at LBI and those whose primary residences were in the shore town. It was a very difficult day in LBI.

Residents have to leave the island by 3 p.m.

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