Diocese, adjusters struggle to assess damage
Acknowledging that it will be weeks, if not months, before the full extent of the damage can be known, Joseph Bianchi, diocesan director of administrative services, reports that, to date, 37 locations are known to have sustained some level of measurable damage, ranging from water damage from flooding, to missing materials from roofs, siding, broken windows, etc. Loss estimates as of this publication date were placed at $8.3 million.
While much of the reported damage was minor, several properties did suffer profound loss. St. Rose High School, Belmar, was heaviest hit, with a preliminary total physical damage and remediation loss of $5 million. Most of the damage resulted from severe flooding in the lower level of the building, Bianchi said.
Other known properties with significant loss include St. Denis Parish and School, with $2 million, and St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, and Precious Blood Parish, Monmouth Beach, with $500,000 in losses each.
The inspection and evaluation process, however, is hampered by the inability of claims personnel to access some of the properties in areas that remain under evacuation orders.
There are a number of parishes, such as those located on the barrier island that stretches from Point Pleasant Beach to Island State Park, as well as those located in heavily damaged areas, that have yet to undergo evaluations simply because “we have not been able to get to them,” Bianchi reported.
“Anecdotally, we’ve heard that they do not appear in bad shape,” Bianchi stated. “But we won’t know until we can get our people in there.”
Adding to the damages to physical property will be the still unknown cost incurred by parishes and schools across the diocese that are not yet fully operational. [[In-content Ad]]