Hurricane Sandy: before, after and now at the Jersey Shore

Down the Shore Everything is All Right

Our mascot, Fishing Pier Ralph, is letting everyone know that we’re doing okay down the shore in Ocean Grove.

Evacuate!   That was the last word we  heard as Neptune Police and Firemen came door to door and asked us to pack our medicine, valuables, and prepare to be out of our homes for several days.

I’ve been living on the first beach block at the Shore in Ocean Grove for almost fifteen years, and this is the very first evacuation notice we received that was a “must evacuate”.  Most times, law enforcement or the fire department suggests, “You should evacuate,” and we don’t.  Not because we’re brave, but because we’ve never had a situation that demolished the entire beachfront.  For Hurricane Sandy, it wasn’t a polite suggestion by the police, it was a mandatory, “EVACUATE.”

Before: Ocean Grove Fishing Pier in the moonlight, November 12, 2011.

Hurricane Sandy, which demolished and devastated, was called an unprecedented storm.  Some newspapers called it a Monster Storm or Frankenstorm, since it hit around the Halloween weekend.  And devastate and demolish was what Sandy did.

What was once a boardwalk, with benches dedicated to loved-ones by plaques marking the family name onto the back of the bench, is now a barren, twisted, mess of a wood pile with twisted railing and an actual fishing pier blown to smithereens, leaving this town of fun delight in ruins and much needed repair.

After: O.G. Fishing Pier November 2012

After Sandy: O.G. Fishing Pier totally blown out to sea

“We take care of our own,” a familiar lyric sung and spoken by Bruce Springsteen. When it comes to restoring and reinvesting in the Jersey Shore, especially Asbury Park, also hit hard by Sandy, and the entire central Monmouth County area,  the tractors and trucks, remodeling companies and the Army Core of Engineers are here.  An entire crew of Verizon linemen from Virginia are here restoring power to four  million customers.  Shy of two weeks without electric and heat, most of the shore area lights are twinkling again.


Getting the job done in Ocean Grove

Sand removal and wood removal from the boardwalk are being gathered and piled for construction crews to come in and get the work started to restore the entire 130 miles of beachfront from Sandy Hook to Cape May.  This is just a glimpse of what’s happening to restore the damage from the very powerful Sandy. Remodeling companies have started to repair roofs, shingles, gutters on homes that were not condemned by flood waters.

After Sandy: twisted railings

After Sandy: a different kind of beach art,
twisted railings and splinted wood from the boardwalk

The people of the Jersey Shore were  promised by President Obama, and there’s not a doubt in my mind or anyone else that lives in these resort towns, that come Summer 2013, Ocean Grove’s community, the houses, the beaches, the restaurants, the hotels, B&Bs, and motels will be back in business just like they were this past summer.

government helicopter surveying our beach area

After: government helicopter surveying damage done to  our beach area

Today, November 12, 2012, only a few days after power has been restored, the work has already started to rebuild the Jersey Shore.  There are roofs being replaced and new gutters being hung.  It restores our faith as our neighborhood is coming back to life.

Photos: Patricia Florio

I’ll be going down the shore to visit other towns hit by Sandy and bring their stories and pictures to Striped Pot readers.