Emergency Basin Clearing

With the help of the amazing folks at Don Jon Marine, we had a very productive day beginning the clearing of the basin and re-stacking some jetty rock. This will allow Coast Guard and engineering personnel reasonably safe access, as they begin the long journey towards remediating the damaged caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Carpenters from Spruce Builders also made great progress temporarily sealing up first and second-floor windows and doors.

Interior Remediation

With storm tides rising up into the second floor and structural cracks allowing water into the upper floors, the interior the light took quite a beating.  All doors and windows were either completely destroyed or compromised.  The completely submerged first-floor was literally scrubbed clean. All the fixtures and interior structural panels on the second floor were washing machined inside the circular structure.

A crack team from Spruce Builders, of Chatham New Jersey, Worked hard to secure the light and keep out the elements. They temporarily sealed up the destroyed doors and windows, built temporary access platforms, and put protective sheeting down on rotted floors.

Recovery Work Begins

Restoring Access, Beginning the Remediation

The first order of business is to restore access to the Light to allow work teams and the United States Coast Guard to complete their missions.

With the help of New Jersey marine contractor Atlantic Subsea, the Romer Shoal team attempted to begin the difficult task of clearing out the Light’s boarding area and restacking jetty rock to provide wave protection. This was a challenging task given extreme site location and wave/weather conditions.

FEMA Inspection Trip

 

 

On September 13 2013, Romer Shoal leadership and a FEMA team departed USCG Station Sandy Hook to inspect the Light and begin the process of assessing and quantifying the damage.   The FEMA team got a chance to see the significant damage the light sustained, firsthand.

We are grateful to the folks from FEMA for their continued interest and support. They are amazing group of committed people.

USCG Post-Sandy Inspection

On February 4th, 2013, Master Chief Jason Wiley and the good men of the United States Coast Guard Aids To Navigation (ATON) Team took us along on their first visit to Romer Shoal Light since Hurricane Sandy. Due to degradation to the breakwater and rock collapse into the boarding area, getting on to the light was deemed unsafe. Apparent structural damage, riprap collapse, access ladder collapse and rough seas cause the Coxswain to wave off any boarding attempt.

Hurricane Sandy Damage

Primary objective: Stabilization and Remediation. Return Romer Shoal Light to pre-Sandy condition.

Stabilization and Remediation Steps:

1. Temporary re-seal of structure
2. Expert Engineering Assessment
3. Boarding area/Safe access
4. Caisson/Foundation Stabilization
5. Breakwater reconstruction
6. Remediate exterior degradation

Romer Shoal Lighthouse

John Scalia, who took over Romer Shoal from the GSA, says he has always had a sweet spot for the lighthouse, as it was the first part of their new homeland his immigrant grandparents saw when approaching Ellis Island. Scalia plans to restore the property, with an eye toward making it available for tours from the National Lighthouse Museum on Staten Island. The Coast Guard continues to oversee operating the light at Romer Shoal.

“We were really concerned about who was going to buy it and what they would do. We are very happy he won the bid and really looking forward to this partnership,” said Capt. Joseph Ahlstrom, a NLM board member.

Historic lighthouses are first made available to government agencies and educational and nonprofit organizations that can maintain them. If no steward steps forward, the lighthouse is auctioned to the public. The GSA started this program because “the romance, history, and beauty of these historic stations is worth preserving for future generations.”