Getting Bradley Beach back from the clutches of Sandy

Letters restored for Bradley Beach

Letters cleaned and restored at Bradley Beach

Today’s a bleak day in the neighborhood of Bradley Beach, which matches the sentiments of many who live in Monmouth County’s beach communities.  Life at the beach is wonderful, except as victims of Hurricane Katrina know, and now we do too, “If you live by the water, you have to expect the water to come visit you some day.”

A sad but a true statement whispered to me by my friend Stu when I moved to the Jersey Shore as a permanent resident some fifteen years ago.

Victims of flooding after Hurricane Sandy

Victims of severe flooding in Bradley Beach

But today workers have started to rebuild Bradley Beach, a section of town where most lost a lot of their homes and personal belongings; a town where some houses have to be gutted in order for families to move back in again.

Some say a storm like this only happens once every hundred years.  That’s encouraging and this town is encouraged to go forward and rebuild.

Bradley Beach’s community goes back to the late 1800s as a religious Jewish neighborhood.  There is still one place of worship that has survived on the beach front.

clean up debris

Cleaning up debris on Bradley Beach

Restoration work has started to clean up the debris from the beach and boardwalk.  The effort that we’ll see over the next few  months from laborers and construction crews will help swing us out of high unemployment numbers and job opportunities along the Jersey Shore.

Along Fletcher Lake that separates Ocean Grove from Bradley Beach, people were flooded not only from the ocean surge but from the lake as well.

Fletcher Lake is a picnic type of area, right off the ocean, where swans, ducks, and geese roam free.  It’s a location where Francis Asbury Manor, an assisted living complex houses hundreds of residents, who have finally come back home, now that power has been restored.

Today I got to meet big bird as construction crews worked in the street to restore the gazebo and lake front back to its beautiful scenic seaside view.

Bradley Beach's Big Bird

Bradley Beach’s Big Bird

Where there’s life, there’s hope.  And this great community of Bradley Beach is hopeful that it will emerge victorious, even better than before.

Home gutted in Bradley Beach



Photos: Patricia Florio

See last summer’s article on Bradley Beach.