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Can Residents Of N.J. Coastline Rebuild After Sandy?

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The entire New Jersey coastline has been redrawn by Sandy's thunderous winds and devastating storm surge.

"I watched a wall of water go all the way down to Beach Street," said Ed Slater, a resident of Belmar, N.J.

In Belmar, the tsunami-like surge swept away the entire boardwalk and created a saltwater lake seven blocks inland.

"Had all kinds of stuff in it - wood, the boardwalk - just going down the street," said Slater.

A line of gritty sand puts the surge at eight-feet high in the town of Sea Bright, N.J.

Private carriers don't offer flood insurance along the beach, and most people along the coast didn't buy any from the federal government.

So, unless FEMA makes them whole, many businesses and homeowners will be out of luck.

Going forward, the Feds and the state may prevent rebuilding in certain areas. Then, there is the beachfront itself; the dunes have been destroyed and the beaches are half their former width.

What was Ocean Avenue is now the beach. There is five feet of sand in the parking lot and into the old bait shop.

The federal government has spent more than a billion dollars in the past 20 years replenishing sand along the Jersey Coast. The question is - will they do it again?

Storms like Sandy are supposed to come every 100 years, but the fear is that they'll come more frequently even if looks can sometimes be deceiving.

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