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Stories From Main Street: Home Elevations In Sea Bright, New Jersey

SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Part of the Jersey Shore is literally rising more than a year after superstorm Sandy.

As WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported, more and more homes in Sea Bright are being elevated to prevent against future flooding and devastation.

Sea Bright Borough Council President Brian Kelly's house was recently lifted four feet.

"Yeah, it's a relief," he told Adams. "A lot of the homes downtown are one at a time, they're going up."

Stories From Main Street: Home Elevations In Sea Bright

Kelly said he opted to raise his home like many of his neighbors who sustained damage in Sandy.

"The entire first floor was flooded out," said Kelly. "I'm a realist. As long as you build sustainably, it'll be better than before."

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Kelly said the elevation has been a process but is almost behind him.

"It's complicated. The planning and engineering and so forth, you have to get the contractors lined up. We have to obviously worry about the funding. The funding is a big complication for everybody because we're drawn from various places. And then another one who's actually waiting for the flood maps."

The elevation process begins with workers using sledgehammers to punch holes in the foundation. Then, Adams explained, steel eye beams are threaded through the holes for the entire length of the house.

Computerized hydraulic jacks then take over the project.

"The whole house goes up as one unit slowly as they lift the house four inches, six inches, eight inches. They then put cribbing support underneath the steel beams then they put jacks on top of that and they keep going," Cross Builders project manager Ken Short told Adams.

Stories from Main Street
Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Wooden towers support the home during the process. A new foundation is built up and then the home is lowered, Adams reported.

The project can cost between $50,000 and $75,000, said Kelly.

He said those looking to elevate their homes should do their homework first.

"Find out what options you do have, what other funding sources there are, speak to your neighbors who have gone through the process successfully. Learn from the ones who have made mistakes," said Kelly. "Be patient, do your research and hopefully learn from those who have gone through the process. Learn from them and you know try to keep the faith."

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