Relief efforts continue on the Jersey Shore - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Relief efforts continue on the Jersey Shore

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Relief efforts are ongoing along the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area. 

Many people are, for the first time, getting to see the destruction the storm left behind – while others are beginning the process of gutting their damaged homes and rebuilding. 

Sandy hit Sea Bright, New Jersey especially hard, and one official told us they're estimating hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. In Sea Bright, there is a checkpoint here because officials are worried about looters. 

It's been almost two weeks since Sandy hit and parts of the Jersey Shore are still a mess. Piles of flooded trash still litter sidewalks in Belmar and in Sea Bright, construction continues into the night as residents try to get back to normal. 

"This past week looking at the destruction it felt like a movie," said one resident. 

A movie that became a reality for many residents along the Jersey Shore and the damage and destruction still surreal. Many residents have only recently returned home. 

"Normalcy at this point, extremely beneficial and extremely appreciative and that's all I'm looking for right now," said another tired resident.

Parts of Belmar and Sea Bright remain in the dark. One utility crew just arrived from South Carolina. 

 "There's a lot of devastation, mainly on the ocean front. Lots of limb damage, tree damage," said South Carolina utility worker Dayton Brown. 

In many devastated parts, a curfew is still in effect as officials now worry about looters. 

"We have had several arrests from people attempting to loot and our police are being very aggressive about that," said Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty. 

"We've made tremendous progress getting all the water out of town. Pumping it back into the Atlantic Ocean," said Belmar Mayor Doherty. At the height (of the storm) we were pumping out 60,000 gallons a minute. We're making great progress picking up the debris from the destroyed boardwalk, the one frustration we have now is power."  

Mayor Doherty showed Fox 5 News around the town's shelter and distribution center and said a gym contains only a fifth of what Belmar has received in donations. 

Meantime Jersey Shore residents like George Szanto are now volunteering their time to help others. He says it's better than sitting in his cold and powerless home. 

"No power, no heat, no hot water – surviving. This has actually been the best two weeks of my life. I've seen the best and the worst and it's very enlightening," said Szanto.

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