Police removed the barriers on Route 36 in Sea Bright, clearing the way for residents and non-residents to travel along Ocean Avenue.
Buses carried Ortley Beach residents back after they registered. Everyone came with empty suitcases, hoping to find something to retrieve. Anything.
"The fear of the unknown. You don't know. It's scary. We're just hoping for the best," Jan Day said.
No one but work crews and law enforcement are allowed to drive in Ortley Beach.
"It looks like a war zone. Ortley Beach was hit bad. Go to Lavallette and compare. It looks like they had a rainy day," Capt. Bruce Burgess, Toms River Police, said.
We hopped a ride with Massachusetts State Troopers and caught up with homeowners just off the bus.
"It was horrible. People were screaming on the bus. It's tough to come back," Art Vrola said.
"I was shocked. I knew there would be damage but not 4 feet of water in the house, we're shocked," Kathy Rossi said. Nothing was salvageable at their house.
"We have a washer, dryer. The washer is full of disgusting water. Turns your stomach," Linda Paliotta said.
Those empty suitcases homeowners brought with them? Many left with those bags nearly as light as they were when they arrived.
Impacted residents in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut can apply for federal assistance. Affected residents must register with FEMA by phone or online to access that aid. To register by phone, residents can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). The TTY line for people with speech or hearing disabilities is 1-800-462-7585. The line is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days per week. To register online, applications may be completed at DisasterAssistance.gov.
If residents have disaster assistance questions, they may call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file a complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey ) or 973-504-6200.
Animal Rescue Teams helps reunite families with their pets
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