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superstorm Sandy Recovery Efforts

About superstorm sandy

This devastating storm started forming in the Caribbean on October 19, 2012.  It quickly gained strength, becoming a tropical depression and then a tropical storm in just six hours.  Sandy was upgraded to a hurricane on October 24th when its maximum sustained winds reached 74 mph.

Hurricane Sandy, the 10th of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, hit Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, and the Bahamas before turning north toward the U.S. coast.  As Sandy headed north, it collided with an arctic air mass, which created an unsually large and dangerous storm system spanning nearly 1,000 miles.  Sandy made landfall in New Jersey in the Atlantic City around 8 p.m. on Monday, October 29th, with sustained hurricane-force winds of 80 mph or more and dangerous flood tides as high as 13 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center.  Sandy's strength and angle of approach combined to create this record storm surge.  A full moon on Monday making high tides higher than normal only added to the massive storm surge. 

In anticipation of the deadly effects of the superstorm, New Jersey required thousands to evacuate the low-lying areas most susceptible to flooding. The advance warnings were critical in minimizing loss of life from Sandy. Property damage from the storm is extensive, and infrastructures, including roads, power transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, and water mains, were severely impacted.  The physical and emotional toll is immense, with many losing their homes and businesses.

View a video from a February, 2013 helicopter fly-over of areas impacted by the storm.  Dr. Stan Hales, the BBP Director, provide commentary along with others on the flight.

superstorm Sandy recovery resources

Below is information about recovery resources, monitoring of the bay, and volunteering to help. 

Federal resources

To apply for federal disaster assistance, contact FEMA online, or call them at 1-800-621-3362.  Residents can also register by smart phone at m.fema.gov.  There is a FEMA disaster recovery center in Brick Township at 270 Chambers Bridge Road.  Residents should first register online or by phone before visiting the center, where FEMA representatives will be available to answer questions. 

See the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Hurricane Sandy Response Efforts webpage for information about the EPA's response and assistance in several areas, including water and wastewater utilities, contaminated sites, debris management, and coastal water sampling. 

For the latest post-storm data and geospatial resources, see this National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website.  For before and after aerial photos of specific locations that give a startling sense of the damage, visit this NOAA webpage. View more Hurricane Sandy aerial imagery on the  NOAA Hurricane Sandy Response Imagery Viewer.  For more information about NOAA's responses to the storm, including disaster assessment imagery, coastal surveys, pollution response, and water level monitoring, click here

Emergency Watershed Program funds are available through the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Typical projects funded under the program include removing debris from waterways, protecting eroded stream banks, reseeding damaged areas, and in some cases, purchasing floodplain easements on eligible land. Contact the Columbus office for Ocean County projects.

Visit the website of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge for information about which areas are open and which are closed due to storm damage/debris,

The Army Corps of Engineers removes any hazards to navigation in federal waterways and also advises local authorities on debris removal best practices.

State disaster resources

The State of New Jersey has a comprehensive online Hurricane Sandy Information Center, which provides information about emergency hotlines, utility restoration plans, transportation updates, pet rescue, volunteering, and more.

Need help?  Dial 2-1-1. New Jersey has a 2-1-1 hotline for people to call for help in finding available assistance services.  The NJ 2-1-1 Hurricane Response and Recovery webpage is an incredible resource with information about road conditions and public transportation; open grocery stores, gas stations, and other businesses; power outages updates;drinking water advisories; shelters; food safety and general health contacts; volunteering; and donations - what is needed and where to donate.

Visit the NJ Office of Emergency Management's Getting Help and Advice About Recovering From Hurricane Sandy webpage for links to valuable information about safely cleaning up, mold issues, how to avoid disaster-related scams, and more.

For information about storm-related debris removal, including list of solid waste facilities and operating hours, visit this NJDEP debris management webpage.

resources for boaters and marinas

Visit the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey website for general information about storm recovery and specific information for boat owners and marinas. 

The EPA is asking marinas to report on the operational status of their marinas and to report any oil and/or fuel spills as a result of Sandy.  Click here for more information.

The U.S. Coast Guard is asking boat owners to contact the command center at 718-354-4120 with information about missing or derelict boats.  The Coast Guard is helping owners locate their boats and has information about salvage companies. 

Boat owners or insurance companies trying to locate a lost or abandoned vessel post-Sandy should call the NJ State Police, Point Pleasant Station, at 732-899-5051.

monitoring of the bay and ocean after the storm

See the NJDEP Marine Water Monitoring website for water quality results after the storm.  Numbers in red are above the acceptable limit for fecal coliform bacteria.

The EPA, in cooperation with the NJDEP, collected ocean water samples from near shore waters from Sandy Hook to Seaside Heights, and analyzed them for Enterococcus (an indicator of the presence of human pathogens).  The results indicated no measurable effect from the NY/NJ Harbor stormwater discharge on NJ’s coastal waters. Click here to see the results. 

The NJ DEP has lifted its public health advisory for recreational use of the upper Barnegat Bay.  Boating, fishing, and crabbing are now allowed throughout the bay.  Recreational and commercial shellfish harvest has been reopened in the bay, with the exception of the beds south of Oyster Creek to Little Egg Harbor inlet.  Click here for more information about shellfish closures.

The EPA is asking marinas and others to report any oil and/or fuel spills as a result of Sandy.  Click here for more information.

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Coastal Research Center, has completed a preliminary post-Sandy assessment of the New Jersey Beach Profile Network (NJBPN) profiles located along northern Ocean County.  Data collected in September, 2012  and immediately following Hurricane Sandy on November 8, 12, and 19 were used to compare and calculate sand losses to the 11 beach profiles located on a developed portion of the coastline (3 profiles in Island Beach State Park have not been surveyed yet).  To read the Coastal Research Center's  Northern Ocean County Initial Report, click here.

how to help


The Ocean County Office of Emergency Management has released a list of Ocean County donation collection locations. The list includes items needed at the specific locations.

Operation BBQ Relief is a non-profit volunteer organization that assists with food in times of disasters.  The group needs donations of food and also volunteers to help cook and distribute meals.  Click here to see a list of food items needed, which can be dropped off at Brick PALS, 60 Drum Point Road in Brick. Call 732-477-0144 for more information.

The Food Banks of NJ need donations of diapers and non-perishable food items, including canned tuna, peanut butter, granola bars, canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned soup, cereal, shelf stable milk.  The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County is located at 3300 New Jersey Highway 66, Neptune Township, NJ 07753. You can call them at (732) 918-2600, or make a monetary donation online.

Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

The United Way is accepting donations online, or donors can text RECOVERY to 52000 to make a $10 donationFor more information, call 973-993-1160 or visit the United Way website.

Architecture for Humanity is accepting donations for its "Restore the Shore" fund to support rebuilding the Seaside Heights boardwalk and businesses and residences in that community.  A fundraising special will be broadcast on MTV on November 15th following the regularly scheduled episode of the "Jersey Shore" series.


The Ocean County Office of Emergency Management has asked anyone who wishes to volunteer during the storm recovery to please contact the American Red Cross Jersey Coast Chapter  (732-493-9100).

Volunteers who would like to help with relief efforts can search for opportunities at VolunteerNewJersey.org. This statewide database is maintained by The Association of New Jersey Volunteer Centers and the Governor's Office of Volunteerism.

A spreadsheet of volunteer opportunities being updated by a private citizen can be viewed by clicking here