TOMS RIVER TOWNSHIP- Toms River residents with structurally damaged homes that need to be torn down were able to participate in a program called PPDR (Private Property Debris Removal.)
The PPDR program is free to residents that have applied to the Township and have been approved by FEMA.
Mayor Thomas Kelaher said, “The demolition program is such an essential part of our rebuilding effort. Councilman Jeff Carr and I recently met with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Bob Martin, so that he could observe our on-going demo program of homes that have been damaged beyond repair. Since that meeting on July 10th, he has been able to help speed up some of the FEMA approvals so that more homes could be torn down, at no cost to our residents.”
Councilman Carr stated, “As of now, FEMA has closed the application process, but we are hoping to extend that submission deadline for our homeowners.”
During Commissioner Martin’s visit of the PPDR program, the media was invited to view one of the homes being torn down in Normandy Beach. Mayor Kelaher said, “Watching a home being demolished is always a bittersweet occasion, but it is an absolutely essential step in our overall rebuilding and recovery process.”
Owners Richard and Janine Hennion watched the construction crew as their house was being torn down. Janine said, “I was at peace with this process months ago. After seeing others lose everything, we decided we needed to rebuild. I’m fortunate enough to be able to rebuild and I’m looking forward to the new house.”
As of the end of July, 56 homes have been demolished through the Township-sponsored PPDR program. There are 138 demolitions pending and another 22 homes awaiting FEMA approval.
Deluged by reporters, Toms River Township Mayor Thomas Kelaher, Councilman Jeff Carr and DEP Commissioner Bob Martin speak with reporters regarding the demolition process in Toms River. Photo credit: Debbi Winogracki
Richard and Janine Hennion, along with Toms River Public Works Director Lou Amoruso, watch their home at 3680 Ocean Terrace in the Normandy Beach section of Toms River being torn down. Janine said, “I was at peace with this devastation a while ago.” Photo credit: Debbi Winogracki