MIDDLE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A Jersey shore home that washed into the bay during a weekend storm was a structurally unsound nuisance and was bound to fall into the water, neighbors said.
The Grassy Sound home started falling apart long before it was swept off its pilings on Saturday and local officials ignored repeated complaints about it, neighbor Jim Mooers said.
"All of this could have been prevented if somebody had taken the right action when all of these issues were pointed out, but nothing was done," Mooers told NJ.com. "Yes, they might be cleaning up the stuff, but me and all of my neighbors will be cleaning up the rest over the years."
The home's owner, Stuart Tait could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Next-door neighbor Haldy Gifford said he spent the weekend using a pole to push Tait's floating piles so they wouldn't smash into his home's supports.
"I fended off his refrigerator for three hours," Gifford told The Press of Atlantic City.
Joe Clifford told The Associated Press the house broke loose and went by his home, hit a few decks and struck his 18-foot boat — which capsized — before it went out to the bay.
Tait told Middle Township officials on Tuesday that he had secured permission from the Army Corps of Engineers to use a barge crane to remove what's left of the house from the marsh, Business Administrator Connie Mahon said. He said the cleanup would take about a week, she said.
A GoFundMe.com page has been started to help Tait pay for the removal of debris.
The U.S. Coast Guard has warned boaters about possible underwater obstructions in the Grassy Sound from the house.