By DON STINE and ELLEN CARROLL
The fast-moving tropical storm which tore through the Jersey Shore Tuesday left little rain but felled trees, damaged homes and caused power outages for thousands, many still without power at press time.
In Asbury Park, sections of the city lost power effecting approximately 300 residents and many large trees and branches littered streets. Emergency Management Director Garrett M. Giberson said, however, the city fared better than some neighboring towns which are still without power.
“The biggest threat for us was the wind,” he said.”Most of the rain was inland, not on the coast.”
Approximately 1,000 Neptune residents were without electricity after the storm due to large trees and limbs taking out power lines. The Shark River Hills section was the hardest hit but power outages were reported throughout the township.
Township Business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said many trees cannot be removed until the electric company shuts down the power lines so workers can safely work on them.
Docks at the municipal marina on S. Riverside Drive were also damaged due to high winds and tides.
The storm did not bring a lot of rain so there was no flooding, just high winds.
“It was almost like a dry Super Storm Sandy. It was the wind that played havoc,” Gadaleta said.
There were no reports of injuries to municipal workers or residents.
Neptune’s Office of Emergency Management team was meeting on Wednesday to further determine the damage and decide is any out-of-township resources are going to be needed to repair and clean-up the damage.
In Ocean Township, about one quarter of homes, or about 2,300, were without power after the storm. Several homes were damaged by falling trees and limbs, especially in the older sections of the township, like the Oakhurst and West Allenhurst areas.
“It was not as bad as I thought it could be, but any home damaged is bad enough,” Mayor Christopher Siciliano.
Siciliano said that the public works department was out clearing streets and highways during the storm so there were few long-term road closures.
“The DPW crews were phenomenal doing that,” he said.
The municipal building on Monmouth Road was closed on Tuesday after losing power around 12:30 p.m. Power was restored the next day.
No injuries or fatalities were reported.
Within a 24-hour period the Ocean Township police department responded to 288 calls for service. One residence, on Bauer Avenue, sustained so much damage from a fallen tree that it is now uninhabitable. A man living there also sustained minor injuries, police said.
Police warned residents to be careful and stay at home, citing numerous trees, branches, utility poles and wires down throughout the area.
“In addition, there are widespread power outages that are affecting traffic lights and the street lights as we approach dusk and the overnight hours, which will limit visibility,” the press release said.
On Wednesday poor driving conditions were reported due to traffic lights being out on major highways like Route 35 and 66.
OEM Director Giberson in Asbury Park implored residents to heed officials who warn them about storms.
“When warnings are issued people need to heed them,” he said. “They need to secure any furniture, umbrellas or construction materials. They become flying projectiles and that’s when people get hurt and property gets damaged.”