Good Luck Point, Glen Cove Still Scenes Of Devastation Nearly Three Weeks After Hurricane

'Only the crazy people stayed,' one resident says


There's a reason Berkeley Township police officers are still stationed at checkpoints into the Good Luck Point and Glen Cove sections of Bayville.

Almost three weeks after Hurricane Sandy roared onto the Jersey coast, the two bayfront areas are still scenes of devastation. A blackened tree stands like a sentry next to a Good Luck Drive home that burned to the ground during the storm. Firefighters were unable to reach it.

The power has been cut to most homes in Good Luck Point. Many are tagged with neon-red "unsafe structure" signs on their doors.

Houses sit in places they don't belong, washed off their foundations. Overturned boats are everywhere. Some sit in the tidal marshes off Bayview Avenue, blown far from where they were once stored.

"All these boats were just picked up," said Township Council President James J. Byrnes, whose Dogwood Drive home in Glen Cove will have to be demolished.

Furniture and mounds of household items line the curbsides. The township Public Works Department has already made several passes through Good Luck Point and Glen Cove, Byrnes said.

"I got two cars gone and my house doesn't have a roof," Douglas Nutley told Byrnes, during a Saturday tour of the battered area. "I'm getting too old for this aggravation."

But a few doors down, Linda and Howard Baigus vowed to return.

Three feet of water inundated their Good Luck Drive home of nearly 20 years. A rusty horseshoe is still nailed next to their front door, a survivor of the storm.

The fireplace in the living room that faces Barnegat Bay is all that's left of the room. The roof and walls were swept away by the crushing storm surge. The two-story garage next to their caramel-colored house collapsed. A utility pole toppled and crushed their R.V.

The couple heeded the mandatory evacuation order and fled with their animals on Oct. 29.

"We got out at 3 p.m.," Linda said. "At 12 p.m., it was already flooding. We never had water in the house before."

The newer house next door to the Baigus' withstood the storm because it was built to Federal Emergency Management Agency hurricane standards. And the couple's next house will be too, Linda said.

"I'm assuming we have to demolish the house," she said. "We'd definitely like to rebuild. We love it here."

They have been staying at an emergency, pet-friendly shelter at McGuire Air Force Base since the storm, but will move onto a rental home in Holiday City at Berkeley next week. But they are okay.

"All my cats are alive," Linda said with a smile. "My dogs are alive. Howard and I are alive."

Township officials will sit down with FEMA representatives on Tuesday to determine the parameters for what houses will have to be demolished and what houses can be rebuilt, Byrnes said.

He and Township Councilman John Bacchione drove slowly down the battered streets, often asking residents how they were doing.

When Byrnes stopped by Whitey's Landing Marina on Butler Boulevard in Glen Cove, he joked and asked the owner how he had managed to cram boats in so tightly.

"Act of God," he yelled back.

Many of the houses in both sections that were badly damaged were older homes, built in the 1940s and 1950s, when much of Bayville was a summer retreat. The older houses, built on concrete slabs, were lower than newer homes and took in more water.

Byrnes is concerned that many residents who have already started renovation and remediation do not appear to have the required permits for whatever work they are doing.

Residents without the permits "are going to get a stop-work notice," he said.

But he didn't have the heart to tell them to stop what they were doing on Saturday afternoon.

"We waived the fees and we've hired five new inspectors," he said.

Fortunately, nearly all of the residents in Good Luck Point and Glen Cove obeyed the mandatory evacuation order.

"Only the crazy people stayed," one man said.

Mark November 23, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Hi My name is Mark and I also live in Bayville, just west of OG basin. Unfortunately, I am in one of the older homes at zero elevation. My dad and uncle built it 70 years ago. No one has picked up our belongings (now trash out front). I have been trying to get the consturction office to come out a declare my house substantially damaged. hered sum not so good stoires about appraiser's from NJ based insurance company. I guess I am fortunate that i have 4 walls left but i don't think my house is safe from evern a mild Nor' Eastern any more. My blessings to Berkely and Ocean Gate police during the trajedy and to protect us from looters.
foggyworld November 24, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Mark, I live on Good Luck Point. FEMA adjustors seem to all be hired just for the duration. At our house the guy spent five minutes and didn't begin to write down all we were pointing out. And if you read your homeowner's policy as a rule they aren't very encouraging. Problem has been to get the State to spell out just what is covered. Christie changes mind and doesn't help us plan. Can't find out if summer houses are covered, as an example. And in Bayville, it's been a do it yourself project in the sense of cleaning up. At Good Luck Point we get once a week garbage pick up of regular cans and that's about it. Lacey Methodist Church and some volunteers have given us the help we have received. I'm trying to collect information and some is on the internet if you play around with it. But we need some basics right now from the State which now has decided to put in a six month commission which puts an awful lot of people on hold. Hang in there. At the very least FEMA could decide to LEND YOU the money to put the house up on the now required pilings. FEMA no longer does anything for free: the premiums we paid seem to have been transferred to HS by the President so there isn't any money in FEMA for us.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM
The governor started off by saying the homeowners would have a voice in this process and I don't see that the public is being invited to any sit down with FEMA. They won't be tearing my house down because it was built to a combination of North Carolina and Florida coastal building specs and codes and we are living here right now. But I am concerned about my neighbors who were not so fortunate. All of us should be at every meeting and you have to understand that the famous FEMA hired by the day inspectors spend about five minutes on a house and rush off. I couldn't get the guy to write down even half of what I point out in my five minutes of fame. I also noticed mistakes in FEMA's own records on the house and I just am not convinced that they have this communities well being at heart. Many of these houses are owned by older folks whose now adult children live nearby and want to contribute to rebuilding or building a new home for their parents. FEMA has no way of know that. And FEMA isn't paying for any of this work. Their best deal for all of those premiums they collected will be to offer someone a loan NTE $200,000K for an entire new home. That gesture is just that. People still will have to pay their mortgages and very high property taxes which the Mayor already wants to increased because the foreclosed have left a whole in his piggy bank.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Now politicians and civil servants do not have a sterling reputation for making financial decisions wisely. As a town, State and Nation these folks have us on the edge of national bankruptcy. Why then should a handful of politicians and many hired-by-the day FEMA inspectors shabbily collected data be the basis of any decisions whatsoever? Last week we were told the Governor needed six months and a committee to make mega changes again without We the People so I don't know how Berkeley Township can make an intelligent move without the input of one of our oh so many highly paid commissions which tend to never have just ordinary folks on them. I like and respect Jim Byrnes but he is only one out of a large handful, some of whom may have their own or friends' interests at heart. We should be included in this coming meeting and every other one that pertains either to our specific areas or to building code changes that I suspect we will reflect a xerox of whatever FEMA did during the last hurricane it covered. So give us the chance we were promised and let us decide on crystal clear information what each family should do. There may be instances where it is deemed impossible to permit someone to rebuild but all of that conversation should be based on fact and talked about in public.
foggyworld November 25, 2012 at 11:41 PM
The town did not clean up Good Luck Point. The lucky enough to still have garbage cans, got them picked up & dumped once a week. The dumpsters I have seen out here have all been rented by an owner or his or her representative to get the damn ball rolling. We finally did get some volunteer help from the Methodist Church in Lacey which also donated food, cleaning supplies and water to drink. The town didn't even give us a box of Hefty bags. Now if they came around after all the beautiful sorting, collecting and making into neat piles was done then thanks so much for that but know if you hadn't done it, we would have. No one on Good Luck Point believes in government good fairies any more but we have learned that we care about each other and want to help each other. We are not alone but we were ignored for weeks. Don't do it again, please. The policeman or sometimes two are politely waving people in on one of two streets but they park their cars in a spot where they can't see the other yellow taped entrance where many people walk in and out. There is no looting to do here because right after the storm people came right here and wisely removed any and all worthwhile possessions. At this point it would be highly dangerous for a scavenger because very few properties have been cleaned up completely. But the chemicals are gone & most people have hope. Please don't ignore us yet again by having a meeting about us and not including us at the table we paid for.


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