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By Tammy Bruce
Topic - Bill Akers
The northern Ocean County beach towns along Route 35 are no stranger to traffic jams along the narrow, heavily traveled highway. But two weeks ago, a perfect storm of unseasonably mild weather, a charity swimming event in Seaside Heights and the torturous process of fixing the damage from Superstorm Sandy created epic gridlock.
For all their nostalgia, boardwalks are still a major economic engine for shoreline communities in New Jersey and New York. So weeks after Superstorm Sandy, towns are racing to rebuild their boardwalks by May, for reasons both sentimental and financial.
They're the places where generations of families savored fast-melting ice cream cones and chowed down on garlicky slices of pizza, where teens scoped out potential dates, where a tipsy Snooki tottered unsteadily, and under which the Drifters sang about falling in love.
Five people including a child died after a fire broke out early Thursday at an apartment building in southwest Missouri, authorities said.
Police will also try to deter as many cars as possible from using Route 35 north to leave the area, Akers said.
"You're going to have normal congestion from a lot of cars being in the area," he said. "But I'm confident we'll have a nice day and people will be able to see the parade, have a good time and leave without major problems."