Southern N.J. Residents Tally The Damage

In southern New Jersey, some residents on the barrier islands are cleaning up after Sandy.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, let's go to southern New Jersey, where many residents are cleaning up. NPR's Jeff Brady visited Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: On the beach, with the wind whipping, Valerie and Jack Sykes of Avalon take in the view.

JACK SYKES: And we just came down here to see how the beaches fared.

BRADY: Overall, they say, the beaches and the boardwalk here look pretty good, although there are piles of sand in places where there wasn't any before the storm. The Sykes say their home survived Sandy without significant damage.

J. SYKES: Our house sits pretty high. We got...

VALERIE SYKES: We are on the bay, so we did get water higher than we've ever, ever, had it before. So it was a little scary, but...

J. SYKES: My mom lives on the bay and her docks - she was fine up until the last - when the wind turned around from the south and it took her docks - her floating docks, and brought them all the way up on to her property.

(SOUNDBITE OF ALARM)

BRADY: In the downtown business area, an alarm won't stop. Building owner John Grace is cutting wires, trying to find the right one. Finally, success. Then he steps into a shop he owns next door for a first look at the damage.

JOHN GRACE: We had a flood gate up, you can see - well, you can't see - but there's a water line there. It went up about 20 inches. And inside the store, it's fairly dry, looks like the flood gate worked.

BRADY: But then he walks to the back of the store...

GRACE: Little bit of water here. There's a water line here. There was water in here. Yep, say it went up about 20 inches, but it drained out fairly well. It looks fairly clean.

BRADY: Grace says he feels lucky. Considering the damage people north of here and in New York suffered, he was imagining a lot more destruction.

Jeff Brady, NPR News.

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