INTERESTING: Houses on stilts

Powerful stories: TCNJ launches Hurricane Sandy project

By Kelly Heyboer | NJ Advance Media for

on May 24, 2015 at 8:47 AM, updated May 24, 2015 at 9:37 AM

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Building something bigger

The hurricane ripped a wall off the Beach Bar in Seaside Heights, the popular boardwalk restaurant where the Garofalos worked and owned the food concession. The owner of the building never rebuilt after the storm and the Garofalos remain involved in an ongoing legal dispute over their business losses.

The family opened a new business, Silver Bay Bagels in Toms River, and are still repairing the storm damage to their house. As they were interviewed for the oral history project, they were preparing to move out temporarily so the house could be lifted six feet and put on stilts, like many in their bayside neighborhood.

The Garofalos said the hardest part of Hurricane Sandy has been dealing with the red tape and bureaucracy as they navigated insurance claims and government programs to find money to rebuild. They said they hope their story shows historians the lasting impact of the storm on ordinary families.

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As I strolled around Seaside Heights, I saw many buildings being raised or completely rebuilt on stilts.

They are big robust “trees”.

My concern is “how long do they last”?

How long does a utility pole last and they are not under load?


Exposed to the weather?

My guess is twenty years. My house, that I affectionately call “my white elephant”, didn’t suffer any major damage due I attribute to being built on three rows of cinder block as a foundation.

It’s been that way for probably eighty years.

No way those “stilts” will last eighty years.

Than what happens.

Will it be it’s own version of Sandy as the house come crashing down?

I think that’s an interesting question.

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