Reporting Lauren Leamanczyk
LONG BEACH ISLAND, NJ (CBS) – Long Beach Island is still closed to homeowners. The narrow stretch of land was completely overwhelmed by the storm surge during Hurricane Sandy.
It is in one of the hardest hit areas of the New Jersey shore. Across the bridge, West Beach Haven residents were finally allowed back into their neighborhood to survey the damage.
Thursday night a lone generator ran in the dark and hurricane ravaged neighborhood.
Bob Bonesteel stayed home through the storm and saw his neighbors belongings floating through the streets.
“Stuff was floating through here with force,” he said.
Many neighbors were shocked when they finally returned Thursday.
“It was a shock. I didn’t really know how to deal with it,” said Larry Lisnieski. The force of the storm blew open his door allowing water to flow in.
Random boats and docks wound up in his yard. Without flood insurance he’s not sure how he’ll clean up.
“I don’t even know where to start,’ he said.
And the damage is more severe across this bridge. On Long Beach Island there is no power, no running water and barely a sign of life.
It’s so bad, only the National Guard can access some parts of the island. The facades have been ripped from seaside homes. Paved streets are covered in sand. Cars are buried.
“I’m looking at the devastation. I don’t know where to begin,” said Greg Weerheim as he sat on his front porch.
He had tears in his eyes as he showed WBZ the damage at his home. Water rose chest deep destroying nearly everything he owns. After days just trying to survive, it’s the emotional toll that is crippling.
“I’m at the low point right now. But you know what tomorrow will be a better day,” he said.