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Some Personal Thoughts Of Hurricane Sandy Six Months Later

Seaside Heights damage from t he air
Damage to Casino Pier in Seaside Heights from the air. (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

It’s hard to believe that today is the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. An event that has changed the Jersey Shore forever.

So many thoughts go through my head about how things are today six months later. I feel a sense of hope and excitement, but I also have a strong sense of anxiety as well.

Not sure if it’s coincidence but on the day that marks 6 months since Hurricane Sandy, billions of dollars in aid has been approved for business owners, homeowners and renters by the federal government.

There are a lot of unknowns that still face this community. Will the Jersey Shore ever be the same? Can we rebuilt? Will people be able to stay in their homes that they love so much?

I have a deep connection to the Jersey Shore. That is why I have moved here. Why I have STAYED here.

Just to be clear, I was one of the fortunate ones on October 29th 2012. Sure I had damage to my property. I lost a car. Some personal items got destroyed, but nothing compared to a lot of residents of Ortley Beach, Seaside Heights, Manahawkin, Toms River, and Brick just to name a few. I am extremely fortunate.

Mantoloking, NJ

But six months later, so many people still don’t what they are going to do. Do they knock their house down, do they rebuild. Do they have to raise them to meet FEMA flood standards?

These are questions that need to be answered. And it just seems the answers are not coming fast enough (six months later).

When you drive up and down Rt. 35, the devastation is still in front of you like time has just stopped. Chain link fences now make up the landscape on what used to be pristine water front property.

Submerged Jet Star Coaster

With all the uncertainty though, one must take a moment to recognize the good that has come from this community. Organizations like Hometown Heroes have done so much good for our community, but the outpouring of compassion from individuals has definitely not been forgotten either

The volunteering that came from so many people in such a time of need is something like we have never seen. The goodness of people is just as powerful as the destruction that leveled our community.

Visitation Church

The Jersey Shore gets a bad rap. We see how we get portrayed in the media. The stereotypes etc, but I think besides the beaches, and the landscape, at the end of the day, what makes the Jersey Shore so special is the people. It’s the kindness, generosity, and caring.

Visitation Church

Days following “Sandy”, All you saw was strangers helping strangers rip out sheet rock and insulation of people’s homes. The hundreds of volunteers showing up at the shelters and donation drop off points, the fundraisers still happening today, and just the generosity of money being donated in times of need. THIS is what makes up the Jersey Shore.

Sure we have great restaurants, boardwalks, bars and clubs with plenty of things to do all year long but it’s the PEOPLE that make up the true Jersey Shore.

Sure there is an extreme amount of work that still needs to be done, and there will be a lot of more hurdles in our way, BUT we pulled together in the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy, and we will continue to do so in the months and years to come!

We are Jersey Strong, and we will CONTINUE to Restore the Shore!

 

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