Jersey Shore towns continue repairs, preparations for summer crowds

    Jersey Shore towns are making progress in recovering from Superstorm Sandy, but there’s still more work to be done.

    Crews have been making repairs to the Bathing Pavilion in Monmouth Beach to get ready for Shore visitors.

    But the local school remains still closed after sustaining water damage, and many residents awaiting grant money to elevate their houses still have not returned home.

    While it’s been a struggle, Mayor Susan Howard says people are trying to make the best of it.

    “We love our towns, and we want them to be good again,” Howard said. “So much kindness and compassion has been shown to us, and people are showing it to each other, and that’s what’s keeping all of us going no matter how hard it is.”

    Some areas, however, are not back in business yet six months after the storm.

    About half of the shops and restaurants in Sea Bright’s downtown remain closed, said councilman Jack Keeler.

    “I’d say about half will be open by summer, but the other half is still going to be doing heavy work,” he said. “Restaurants, kitchens were wiped out and that sort of thing so it’s tough.”

    Keeler says many residents have not been able to return to their condos and apartments because almost all of the heating and air-conditioning units were in basements and were severely damaged.

    Howard and Keeler both expect the beaches will be ready for Memorial Day crowds.

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