As the streets get a little cleaner each day, residents on the barrier island, finally get a chance to go back home and see what awaits them.

Ortley Beach, considered "Ground Zero" by many, was one of the hardest hit places on the Jersey Shore.

Residents once again had to board buses with suitcases in Toms River, and be shuttled over the bridge to their homes. while at their homes, they can retrieve whatever they can fit in their luggage. There is a two phase plan to get the residents into Ortley Beach listed below.

According to, here is the plan to get residents to their homes on Thursday 11/15/12

Toms River Township announced the next group that will be allowed to re-enter Ortley Beach tomorrow. On Thursday, those living (full and part time) on the west side of Bay Boulevard to the bay between Lavallette and Seaside Heights will be granted temporary access to their homes. (See the map above.)

The Ortley Beach re-entry plan is being updated just one day at a time. A message on the Toms River Township page says the re-entry "locations to be announced will be dictated by safety." As of this publishing, the locations for property access on Friday, November 16 through Monday, November 19 have not yet been announced.

  • Register at Bellcrest Plaza 935 Fischer Blvd. between 8 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. (The first bus leaves at 8:45, but will make a continual loop until 3 p.m. so residents can arrive later in the day.)
  • Photo ID must be provided and surrendered to officials and stored with a registration form. (ID will be returned when residents depart the island.)
  • Full and part time residents will be transported to and from the designated Ortley Beach area by school bus. The bus will make a continual loop from the affected area to the registration site. You may only enter once per day and all residents must board the by to leave Ortley no later than 2 p.m.
  • Only 2 people per property are permitted - one must be a resident of the home the other can be a family or friend.
  • All items taken from a property are limited to storage in a carry on suitcase that can be placed on the resident’s lap in the bus
  • Unwanted and/or damaged items can be placed on the curb of their property, but they should not block the street
  • Only residents from the predetermined streets will be permitted to enter on their scheduled day.

The next phase of re-entry for Ortley Beach will presumably allow contractors and insurance adjusters to also enter the devastated area to begin making necessary repairs to homes. "Phase three will account for winterization and flood remediation. You will be given ample time later to do this, but first we must get homeowners in to retrieve personal belongings," the re-entry plan reads. No details or timeline for phase three has been provided.