One of the iconic images of Superstorm Sandy will soon be a memory for the Jersey Shore town of Mantoloking.
On Thursday, workers surrounded the two-story home jutting up from Barnegat Bay where it has been stuck since Sandy pushed it off its foundation and out into the bay six months ago. They used a hooked boom to pull pieces from the house and place them on a barge bound for a landfill.
Dudley Ryan, who owns a home in Mantoloking next to the now-vacant lot where the home in the bay used to be, reflected on the demolition.
“It’s so sad. It’s just haunting. It’s a constant reminder of the strength of that storm system,” Ryan said. “It’s also a reminder of how fortunate and lucky we were, but watching it come down is a real sense of progress.”
Demolition of 50 more homes in Mantoloking will begin next week.
Mayor George Nebel says most residents want to rebuild, but he believes it will take three to five years for the town to fully recover from Sandy.
Buddy Young, director of operations for Crowder-Gulf, estimated his company has removed about 60 percent of the debris Sandy washed into Barnegat Bay.
“We’ve picked up three automobiles, several boats, several jet skis … ” he said. “And the rest of it, it’s just what we call construction demolition debris, C&D debris, which is broken up piers, docks, houses, whatever floated out in the bay when a wave came across.”
As debris removal continue, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin says most of the state’s waterways should be open for boating and recreation this summer.