Blocks of beaches were inaccessible, and at least one street closed by police, after ocean waves enveloped an entire beach berm in the Normandy Beach sections of Brick and Toms River townships.
The beach was closed at 8th Avenue by the Brick Township police department, where barriers and signs were posted Wednesday. While the protective dune in the area is still fully intact, the beach itself is virtually non-existent. The entranceway to the beach terminates at a cliff of about 5-feet, with waves – even at low tide – covering the entire shoreline.
Brick Mayor John Ducey said Wednesday night that the township engineers of both Brick and Toms River (the two towns split the Normandy Beach neighborhood) were meeting at the time of low tide that night to assess the conditions and determine whether rip currents were present.
“She will make a determination of what to do based on that,” he said.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will soon be bidding out a contract for beach replenishment between Manasquan and Barnegat inlets, with a special engineering focus on several neighborhoods where the last round of replenishment, which commenced seven years ago, had eroded away. Ortley Beach and Normandy Beach are both in line for a re-engineering of the beach. That project, however, is unlikely to begin until at least January 2023, according to local officials who have participated in conference calls with the Army Corps.
Toms River has trucked in sand to Ortley Beach, and Brick has – rarely, and not in several years – done the same in Normandy Beach and the public beach areas. It is yet to be determined if that will occur this summer, especially with the federally-funded replenishment project in the wings.