Clean Up Continues in Ocean County after Tropical Storm Isaias

Thu Aug 06 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Tropical Storm Isaias Cleanup

OCEAN COUNTY Road Department crews continued to scour the 618 miles of county roads on Wednesday, Aug. 5 for downed trees and broken branches causing havoc for motorists and homeowners while several Ocean County Parks were closed due to storm damage.

In addition, Ocean County Sheriff's officers have been deployed throughout the storm and overnight to assist municipalities with traffic control and other security assets.

"As Tropical Storm Isaias moved away from Ocean County Tuesday afternoon it was apparent it left behind a swath of damage that will take some time to clear," said Ocean County Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari. "We are doing all we can to clear roadways and protect our residents and visitors during this time."

Ocean County issued an emergency declaration allowing the County to tap into a host of resources in order to expedite the ongoing cleanup and other storm related activities.

"This helps with coordinating the various levels of government agencies in order to address storm damage, public safety and the needs of our residents as related to the storm," Vicari said.

Vicari who met with Gov. Murphy earlier in the day in Jackson Township, told the Governor the largest concern is the power outages across the County.

"We have a very large senior population and also the number of people in the County swells at this time of year due to our tourism season," Vicari said. "From our most vulnerable citizens to our visitors, getting power restored is paramount at this time."

The widespread power outages means numerous traffic signals across the county are not working resulting in Ocean County Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy deploying sheriffs' officers to all those towns that have made requests for assistance with traffic details.

"Our officers were out during the storm, overnight and throughout the day today to help local police departments provide safe traveling conditions for motorist," Mastronardy said. "We are vital to the support of our local law enforcement and emergency responders in making certain the public is safe."

Mastronardy said sheriff's officers are assisting on Long Beach Island where traffic signals across the island have been out because of the storm and a host of other towns across the County.

"We also provided portable lighting in some areas and deployed security assets where needed," he said.

Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, who serves as liaison to the Ocean County Road Department, said road crews will continue cleaning storm debris from County roadways until the work is completed.

"A lot of our focus has been in the northwest area of the County, in particular in Jackson and Plumsted townships," he said. "Road crews first move fallen trees and brush out of the roadways to clear the roads for traffic. Today we are going back to remove the trees and branches from the sides of the road.

"This is a big county land wise," he said. "It will take some time to complete the cleanup."

He noted that one road department truck was damaged as a result of a tree falling on it during the storm.

"Luckily, the road crew members from the truck were out moving trees in Plumsted Township," he said. "No one was hurt."

Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines said the Ocean County Department of Parks and Recreation were assessing storm damage at Ocean County's Parks.

"We had to close several of our parks due to fallen trees, storm damage and power outages," she said. "We are hoping all of our facilities will be up and running by Thursday, (Aug. 6)."

Ocean County residents can bring storm debris including downed tree branches to the county's regional recycling centers located in Lakewood and Stafford Township.

"Our homeowners can access the county recycling centers with their storm debris," said Ocean County Freeholder Gary Quinn, who is liaison to the county's recycling program. "I am happy we can provide this free service to our residents so they can quickly clean up their properties."

Vicari noted that when it comes to responding to emergencies in Ocean County it's an all hands on deck response.

"From our Office of Emergency Management, to our administration, all of our departments and the county work force, everyone works together to help the people of Ocean County," Vicari said. "I am grateful for the dedication to our citizens."