Union Beach, once devastated by Superstorm Sandy, will undergo $50M project to help prevent future flooding

A New Jersey community devastated by Superstorm Sandy will finally receive help to prevent future flooding from happening, nearly 10 years since the storm.
The Raritan Bay flooded Union Beach in October 2012. Some homeowners are still working to rebuild nearly a decade later. Homes are being built up, so they are above sea level.
For the homeowners who stuck it out and returned, planned improvements have been expected for years.
One homeowner is Laura Hallam, who lives on Brook Avenue. She moved back to the home in 2015 after rebuilding on top of pilings, placing her 18.5 feet above sea level.
“Everybody now has a window with a view,” she says.
The Hallam family was living on the same property when Sandy struck, in a nice two-story home.
“Then Sandy came along, and this is the following morning where the second floor was in the street,” Hallam says.
The bottom floor was washed away. All the homes on the street were also washed away, often leaving behind only a home’s front steps. Many have been rebuilt since the storm.
"There was a wall of water that just came right in and as it came in, it took whatever was in its path back out,” Hallam says.
Throughout Union Beach, one can find portions of driveways that once led to houses that were never rebuilt. There are also some abandoned homes and vacant lots. There are also homes rebuilt with massive foundations to protect against floodwaters.
Brook Avenue is located near Flat Creek. When the Army Corps of Engineers returns to work, the plan is to build a jetty that darts into the bay. Another will be built on the other end of town at Dock Street. And along Front Street, best known for the beach on the bay, dunes will be erected.
It is a $50 million project with money from Congress that local say is long overdue. The Army Corps will do the work in fall. Hallam says they were here once before to work on Flat Creek.
"The Army Corps has dredged. They replaced this bridge, but it still gets flooded,” Hallam says.
The work will begin in the fall – during the heart of hurricane season.