Residents of Ortley Beach both full & part-time  have been given the green light for a return to their homes to inspect damage.


Sink hole in Ortley Beach
Sink hole in Ortley Beach (Township of Toms River)

The Township of Toms River initially announced a plan to allow  residents to the barrier island community on Wednesday morning. The policy was amended  to let both full-time and part-time seasonal residents to retrieve personal items.

The plan, according to officials, was amended because of the "the ever-changing environment of sinkholes, and this plan, approved by the Governor’s office, will allow us to focus on one area at a time before moving on.  That area may not be available again, say next week, due to the landscape and construction.

"The geography of Ortley Beach changes daily," explains officials in statement.  "Many sinkholes have been observed and repaired but some remain un-remediated. Conditions improve daily but there is much work to do. The second phase of this plan remains fluid and will be posted as soon as practical."

The first two phases of the plan will allow residents to return to an area referred to as "Ground Zero" by officials  because of the extensive damage starting Wednesday with a "Grab-n-Go" bus trip.

Phases one  & two will enable residents to retrieve personal items. Phase three will account for winterization and flood remediation.

All residents will need to register at the Bellcrest Plaza shopping center located at  935 Fischer Boulevard for the first bus trip on Wednesday leaving at 8:45. Two people per residence will be permitted  to go including a non-resident.

Not everyone will get to return tomorrow;  later today officials will post the order streets will be available.The first trip will be for residents of Rt. 35N to Rt. 35S Lavallette to Seaside Heights.

Residence will have a "reasonable amount of time "to retrieve items they deem essential to themselves and their families. These items will be limited to storage in a carry on suitcase that can be placed on the residents lap upon return.

Map of Ortley Beach
Map of Ortley Beach (Township of Toms River)


  • Registration Site: Bellcrest Plaza 935 Fischer Blvd.
  • Registration - To register, the resident will provide a photo ID which will be surrendered and stored onsite with the registration form. They will then be given a carbon copy of their registration form (which becomes their ticket to board the bus) and a PASS to wear while in the affected area. Upon return to the mainland the resident will surrender the pass and their photo ID will be returned to them. (This will ensure that no resident is left behind).
  • Each bus will have an officer accompanying it to the affected area.
  • Entry to the affected area will be restricted to residents only. Two people per residence and proper identification (driver’s license, tax or utility bill) is required. (Only 1 person needs to be the resident.  A friend or family member may go along with homeowner to help retrieve items.)
  • A perimeter will be established and manned by police officers around the area in which residents will arrive.
  • Residents will be transported to Ortley Beach from the Bellcrest Plaza (935 Fischer Blvd) Toms River via Toms River Regional School bus.
  • A predetermined schedule (listing the streets to be addressed each day) will be posted on the Township website to advise residents what day to arrive.
  • Residents will have a reasonable amount of time to retrieve items they deem essential to themselves and their families.
  • These items will be limited to storage in a carry on suitcase that can be placed on the resident’s lap upon return.
  • The homes and infrastructure in many areas have been severely damaged. As such, ALL RESIDENTS CHOOSING TO VOLUNTARILY ENTER THEIR HOMES TO INSPECT/REMOVE PERSONAL ITEMS DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK.
  • Residents are reminded to use caution in and around their homes.
  • Residents will not be permitted to wander to other unsecured areas.

SCHEDULE: Registration will take place at 08:00 at the Bellcrest Plaza 935 Fischer Blvd, Toms River.

08:00 to 08:45 – Registration begins

08:45 buses leave for Ortley Beach.

  • The busses will make continual loops between the affected area and the registration site. You may only enter once per day.
  • You may arrive later in the day, but must leave Ortley by 2:00 pm.
  • Residents should throw out unwanted items at curb side but on their property so as to not block the streets

Wednesday 11/14/2012 – Rt. 35N to Rt. 35S Lavallette to Seaside Heights (SEE MAP BELOW FOR SPECIFIC STREETS)

Thursday 11/15/2012 TBA

Friday 11/16/2012 TBA

Saturday 11/17/2012 TBA

Sunday 11/18/2012 TBA

Monday 11/19/2012 TBA

The locations to be announced will be dictated by safety. The Toms River Building Department is working diligently to mark out hazards and we must follow their lead.  We hope to have 48 hours’ notice on the Township Website.

The buses will run between 08:45 and 3:00PM. All residents are to board the buses by 2:00 PM and leave the Barrier Island by 3:00PM.



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