By KIRSTIN COLE
pix11.com | @colekirstin
10:12 PM CST, November 14, 2012
TOMS RIVER, NEW JERSEY (PIX11)
"Nothing was savable. It was completely gone," stated the woman with her father as the exited the yellow school bus in a non-descript parking lot in Tom's River, NJ. They were surrounded by other homeowners, spatters of mud and sand clung to their boots and clothes.
It was the first day they were allowed back in by police; 75 sink holes along their neighborhood roads made it impossible to allow them to drive their own cars. And even though each was allowed two suitcases to fill, most came back nearly empty as their was little to salvage.
Bill Mehl went to his 93 year old mother's house. She's been displaced to Little Egg Harbor and was anxious to return to her beloved home. Her son Bill retreived three muddy framed photographs. There was no reason to grab much else as it was trashed by Sandy. "She's 93. And when we know it will take a year, or more, you can imagine how hard it is for her at her age."
Rip Repas had a misplaced smile on his face as he told us he doesn't have flood insurance. He estimates his modest summer condo was worth about $200,000. But there will be no reimbursement. "It looked like a whirlpool was in my condo. My refrigerator was toppled over blocking the front door. We just spent the day just breaking windows and gutting everything we could from the first floor condos. It's a total loss."
Many of the homes we say as we toured with two State Trooper from Massachusetts will have to be totally razed. They're toppled off foundations, crushed by relentless waves; all are marred by a five foot high water mark on their exterior.
We found Toms River Det. Brian Lomer working a radio inside a beach cottage dumped in the middle of the road. "Best I can tell, it came from the ocean front, about four blocks away. So far we can't find the piece of property it used to sit on," said the 25 year department veteran. "My family has been here for hundreds of years. We've never seen anything like this. It's a good one to tell the grandkids."