Island Beach State Park Spared Significant Damage
Island Beach State Park–The major structures along Island Beach State Park such as the Governor’s mansion and bathing pavilions were spared any major structural damage, but the park’s protective dune system suffered severe erosion, according to the New Jersey Department of Parks and Forestry.
Bob Considinae of the Parks and Forestry department tells Toms River Magazine that the storm washed sand across the island, wiping out access paths and leaving sand on the park’s main access road.
“The lifeguard towers both need to be replaced. One was washed away and the other has severe damage,” he said. “The stairs to the tower are gone and the lifeguard boxes used to store safety equipment are also gone. Thankfully, the pavilion fared well but the dunes and beach were severely eroded.”
As for the Governor’s mansion, it did not suffer any flood damage inside, but there was minor damage to the front porch. Considinae also reported that the bay side houses and structures had flooded basements and mold damage. While it’s not as bad as others locations on the island, “It’s definitely a mess.” he said.
“While the storm caused major damage to many of our parks, including our most visited sites at Liberty State Park and Island State Beach Park, we intend to get these treasured parks back on line to provide continued recreational venues for New Jersey residents,” Commissioner Martin said. “We hope re-opening these parks and sites will represent benchmarks for the state’s recovery from the recent storm.”
All state parks and historic sites were shut down on Oct. 28 for safety reasons due to oncoming Hurricane Sandy. There is no timetable for re-opening of Liberty State Park and Island Beach State Park, both of which sustained considerable damage from the storm.
Photos: Beach shots courtesy NJ Dept. of Parks and Forestry. Governor’s Mansion aerial by Phil Stilton.