Wall Street to Money Island. How did that happen!?

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Wall Street and Money Island NJ; two opposite corners of the earth.

This week marks 29 years since I left a Wall Street firm to work on my own in the small business world. I posted a reflective piece on the mostly hard lessons learned. I still don’t care to talk much about those days but I suppose that I should.

More at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/29-years-away-from-wall-street-tony-novak-cpa-mba-mt

 

 

Weekend winter storm Jonas damage assessment

This past weekend’s storm caused more problems here than we initially expected. It is quite noticeable that Money Island took one more hit in the long battle against rising water level and increased storm energy. The most visible impact is a loss of more than one vertical foot of beach sand on the water side of the new Bayview Road bulkhead.  That beach loss was a predicted impact of the sea wall construction but seeing it happen in real life is no less shocking. The marina lost a finger dock, a load of dock lumber and of our two dock ramps need major repairs. One neighbor’s house lost a section of siding. At least two of the commercial docks need repair or replacement of their flotation. Repair costs of the damaged items we noticed are likely to be in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 even with our use of primarily volunteer and uncompensated labor.

One of the long term predictions about the effect of climate change is that the combine forces of sea level rise and increased water and air temperatures in that smaller storms like this will have a greater destructive impact on property. That seems to be the case with this recent storm Jonas.

I noticed the irony that the newer structures seemed to incur the most damage. The old decrepit and abandoned structures here seem to have survived unscathed.

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We do not yet know what is caused this new dock to sink. Perhaps the air-filled floats cracked and filled with water. The floats were rebuilt in September 2015. This will likely be our most difficult and expensive repair this spring.

trailer stuck in sand
trailer stuck in sand

Flowing sand across roadways and parking areas can cause headaches.

Bayview Road bridge
Bayview Road bridge

There is more deterioration of the roadway at the Bayview Road bridge yet a tractor clearing debris drove over it today.

ice on the marsh
ice on the marsh

The snow and ice on the marsh was mostly melted by the end of the day Monday.

Storm protection improvements at Money Island Marina

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This photo shows new hardware and a safety chain connecting two sections of reconstructed floating dock. The safety chain bolts go through the 4″ beams of the dock below the deck. It the event of a severe storm the pin connecting the docks might break but the chain will likely survive.

Over the past 3+ years since hurricane Sandy we’re made huge progress toward improving our ability to withstand high winds, flooding and even flowing ice. You could say it’s almost been an obsession around here. Here is a partial list of our recent projects:

  • replaced high electric lighting fixtures mounted on poled with lower level more protected solar powered dock lights
  • replaced trash dumpster with “tip-proof” elevated storm proof sealed trash and recycling kiosks
  • stronger signage with plywood backing
  • use of new corrugated roofing materials and construction techniques designed to withstand 80 mph winds
  • replaced commercial port-a-potty with elevated and non-tip-able toilet
  • stainless steel cable tether lines on movable structures and equipment
  • elevated buildings
  • upgraded the water well and pump house to better withstand freezing and flooding
  • installed a water line break alarm system
  • constructed storm-roof crab shedding trays
  • replaced PVC with more flexible and freeze-proof PEX water supply lines
  • constructed an enclosed lumber yard
  • anchored buildings and floating decks to pilings with hurricane straps
  • anchored roofs to buildings with hurricane straps
  • upgraded major supporting beams from 4×4 lumber to 6×6 lumber
  • moved freezer and ice machine from outside deck to inside a closed structure
  • constructed dunes and berms
  • planted dune grass
  • encouraged growth of ground cover on empty lots so that root systems will prevent erosion
  • added rock on most vulnerable shorelines
  • entered partnership with The Nature Conservancy shoreline stabilization project.
  • Used oyster shell, conch shell and clam shell in strategic places to prevent erosion
  • Used various sized porous materials to minimize erosion from drainage in the most vulnerable spots
  • new methods to strengthen pilings and prevent erosion of poles and docks
  • added safety chains to docks
  • installed new quick-disconnect hardware on vulnerable finger docks
  • combining the use of both nails and screws for better overall strength in dock construction
  • upgraded dock hardware to 1/2″ galvanized
  • experimental use of plastic dock angle hardware for flexibility and rust resistance
  • reconstructed docks to be stronger and more resistant to flowing ice
  • replaced older pilings with stronger new poles
  • use a double system of rings plus chains to secure the most vulnerable floating docks (the transition dock near the ramp)
  • replaced older concrete septic tank lids with new sealed plastic lids
  • allow walkways and some decks to float in high water without causing damage
  • replaced storage buildings to gather and contain materials and equipment
  • in general, we don’t leave things laying around outside

Storm protection is an ongoing project for us but we feel confident that we’ve come a long way in the past three years.