“Show us the Proof” Says Displaced Ortley Beach Resident
Toms River–Pat Klesko, an Ortley Beach resident slammed the Toms River Township Council Tuesday night over what she felt was the township’s lack of information being made available to township residents who live on the barrier islands.
“I understand the first week you didn’t have power, but I can’t understand why the township did not post pictures to show people the devastation over there,” she said to the council. “I know other towns and other sections of towns were able to get in and see their homes. We can’t get over the bridge. People don’t know if their houses are standing or not.”
Klesko then went on to criticize a set of publicity photos shown just 2 days after the hurricane struck the island. ”I don’t need to see publicity pictures posted on website. We need to see what the houses look like so people can rest and see that they have their land, whether their homes are still there,” she added. ”We’re not seeing anything. We keep being told there’s devastation. Show it, because if you read the newspapers and read the blogs, people are saying there’s nothing wrong over there. And unless you show it, they’re still going to think nothing’s wrong.”
Council President Mo Hill responded, “alright.” to Klesko and called the next person to the podium.
While major television networks have been shuttled in and out of the barrier island communities over the past two weeks to film segments with local officials under police escort, opportunities for local media and photojournalists have been few and far between to document damages for the public.
Photo: One of several publicity photos released to the media on November 1st by Toms River Township. Pictured: Mayor Tom Kelaher in front of Joey Harrison’s Surf Club wreckage in Ortley Beach. Photo by Debbi Winogracki.