Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Brendan O'Connor

Trees fell left, right, and center. The Sea Isle-Avalon Bridge was critically damaged. The ocean met the bay. Waves reached 15-20 feet in some areas. Parts of barrier islands were much deeper than some swimming pools. Shops had two feet of water on top of two feet of sand, making the streets look something like a beach. In some places, power was spotty, at best, well into the next week and after.

This is how powerful Hurricane Sandy proved to be, in late October of 2012. It is rare for a storm that powerful to come this late in the season. Most of the storms of this magnitude come in late August or early September. Even in the Philadelphia Area, it was as good as advertised. This was the first rainstorm in a long time to keep us out of school for not one, but two days. Not a long distance away at the Jersey Shore, it was even worse.

The cleanup process will be a long one. Homes and shops will need to be repaired. Displaced sand will need to be moved off the streets and back onto the beaches. With time, the water will return to the ocean. Trees that fell during the storm need to be moved. Power lines telephone lines, and cable lines will need to come back on in order for the locals to restore their daily lives. Most Jersey Shore schools were out for a whole week after the hurricane, some for even more. I even heard people mourning that the shore will be unavailable for the summer.

I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Fry, who has firsthand knowledge of the situation. His family’s home is in Ocean Gate, which is in Central Jersey near the Toms River. They had prepared for the storm by tying everything down outside the home and moving as much as they could off the first floor. His house was four feet deep in water and sand. The sidewalk was invisible under the dirt. They lost power for twelve days. Anything they left on the first floor was trash. The house came incredibly close to a massive fire. The boat nearly hit the main gas line, but was blocked by a wood wedge.

Dr. Fry is just one of thousands of people whose lives have been affected by this storm. Even with all the damage that has been done, I am not worried at all about the future of the Jersey Shore. Locals need their life to go on, and that means the shore will be back at full speed in time for the summer.