HCTA President Phil Kunz met with Jon Oldham today and was escorted onto the island see the condition of Harvey Cedars first hand. While Harvey Cedars will be ready on Monday for residents to return, we will NOT be able to so until the island-wide Emergency Management Team allows it. It is not Harvey Cedars decision. We will let you know the date and time of access for HC as soon as we are informed. Below are Phil’s observations and some updated information that we can confirm:
Security: As we posted previously, residents will have to pass through a number of checkpoints, and at each you must present your re-entry placard or ID and tax bill. There will be checkpoints at each town, you may not stop in any town, and must proceed directly to Harvey Cedars. You may not go north of Harvey Cedars. Phil was stopped 4 times in HC and was asked what he was doing there until his identity and reason for being on the island were verified. Public officials and security/safety personnel are very concerned about possible looters, and are being very diligent in their efforts to prevent from happening. In addition to roadway security, the waterways are being patrolled by State Police and Coast Guard units to prevent un-authorized entry by boat. Remember, there is a curfew from 6am- 6pm. Be aware that the bridge is shut down at during curfew hours. As we have stated, keep your ID/info with you at all times.
Electricity: It was restored to most of Harvey Cedars shortly after noon today. It was done safely in sections with HC Highpoint Volunteer Fire Department personnel present looking for problems as each section was turned on. The rest of Harvey Cedars electrical power should be back on by tomorrow. Special thanks to our volunteer firefighters. If you have ever wondered if you should send in a check during their annual fund drive, we think that should be an easy answer from now on.
Homeowner Cleanup: HC wants to do clean up in stages. First will be perishable items such as spoiled food and smaller debris. Large items such ruined appliances and furniture will come later. Please put the perishables and small items in your cans and black garbage bags and place them at curbside. We will keep you apprised of the larger item pickup. We would suggest if you need any clean up type supplies that you bring them with you before coming onto the Island.
Phil’s assessment of damage: Because of the pictures and videos we and other outlets have been able to post, Phil did not see anything that shocked him. He feels we were VERY lucky and look good, compared to other towns. His general assessment follows.
*North of Essex – Oceanside- “Looks good. Some beach entrances look like any August day. Others have some damage. I am surprised that it looked to be in good condition. I saw homes with gutters hanging or screens damaged, maybe something blown over. Some sand blown in the roads.”
*North of Essex – Bayside– “Garage and grade level floors have been exposed to water damage. Some wind damage. Some debris laying in yards.”
South of Essex – BOTH sides of the Blvd– “There is a lot of sand on both the Ocean and Bay side. There was wash over of the dunes. The road is clear, but the sand is piled up like snow piles. There is water damage, wind damage and debris. Garage doors/breakaway construction that was exposed to heavy water has been damaged. But damage is the general minority vs. majority.”
Misc: There are a number of displaced boats, but “not crazy”. Same with trash corrals and yard art/ornaments, outdoor furniture, etc. Owners will have to walk around and hopefully recognize their items and return them to their property.
Be sure to photograph and document anything before throwing it out for insurance purposes.
** Last minute info on voting for those displaced by Sandy. Read attached article: http://t.news.msn.com/politics/christie-orders-early-voting-fax-email-votes-accepted
We will touch base tomorrow and continue to publish daily updates, even if only to let you know nothing has changed. Have a good evening.