Dear Jersey Shore,

beekeeperswifeApril 29, 2013

(this is for those of you who are there, repairing or replacing your kitchens and complete homes. And to those of you who haven't actually seen the destruction in person).

Dear Jersey Shore,

I haven't been down to see you since Sandy paid you a visit last October. That changed yesterday when my dh and I rented a Uhaul trailer to take some furniture to my daughter's summer apartment in Sea Bright. I cannot express the sadness I felt, even after all these months since the storm.

The sand covering your sidewalks, the stairs that used to lead from the sidewalk over the sea wall are now just dangling in the air.

All of your evergreen trees and bushes are dead. I suppose from the salt water that flooded them. And how odd they look, not only are they all brown but they are all leaning away from the ocean. As are all the trees and shrubs.

Piles of furniture are still piled up outside of homes. I saw the shell of a grandfather clock lying in a pile of debris in front of a home.

My daughter tells me that you are looking so much better than you were before she left for her winter job in Florida. But still, it is hard to see. Many houses are gorgeous and new, obvious that they were able to find a contractor to help them rebuild it. And then there are the houses that are boarded up with the word "DO!" on the front. DO? DO knock it down? DO Repair?

And the whole time as we drove up and down Ocean Drive, I was hearing Bruce Springsteen singing "My Hometown". The radio wasn't on. I just heard it.

So, to my GW friends who live there. I just wanted to say that I saw the damage for myself in person. Photos do not do it justice. In fact, I didn't take any photos because I knew that they cannot tell this story. I also wanted to share this with all those of you who are not close enough and will never experience seeing it in person.

I have no motive for posting this, I'm not telling you to donate to anything, etc. But I just felt I had to share this with you. Keep the people who suffered so terribly from Sandy in your thoughts. I think they need it.

I can see how the Jersey Shore will rebuild and it will be stronger. There was evidence of that yesterday. But there is such a long way to go.


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I know how you feel, Bee. I live in the midwest, and our city was all but destroyed by a massive flood in 1997. It took about 10 years before we felt like we were anywhere near "normal" - though the definition of normal changed after the flood - many things will never be the same.

Seeing is believing. You are so right about pictures not being able to tell the story - not even close. The loss, the devastation - and the hope in the midst - is powerful beyond words.

Thanks for sharing, and I want to add my prayers and condolences to those dealing with the aftermath of Sandy's wrath.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:43AM
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Holly- Kay

Thank you for posting this Bee. We vacation in Ocean City NJ every year and it was so sad to us to see the devastation that they experienced. It is even sadder to know that after all these months they are still fighting the battle to restore their homes and businesses.

I was able to donate batteries and flashlights through our church and some other organizations. I have a battery business so I know what a blessing batteries are when people are without power.

We will be visiting the JS again this year. I hope that many who usually vacation there will continue, as they need our tourist dollars now more than ever!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:59AM
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Ironically, Morning Joe was broadcast from Sea Bright this morning. The devastation is overwhelming. Good post Bee.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Today is the 6 month anniversary of Sandy. Thanks for posting Bee. Just because we aren't hearing about it in the news doesn't mean that the need for help doesn't exist.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:17PM
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Hi Bee,

I live 4 miles from Sea Bright. Our contractor is actually rebuilding one of the beach clubs you pass. We are also very sad whenever we go into Sea Bright to have lunch at Woody's. Our kid's favorite ice cream and pizza is still closed but are hoping to open soon. There has been so much improvement there although it's hard to imagine, I know. Other areas of the shore are really a mess as well.

DO: I can explain. Days after Sandy at the first meeting of Sea Bright residents the mayor Held up a sign that said "DO". It was part of a broken sign from a bar/restaurant there on the beach called "Donovan's Reef". Well, the "Do" part stuck and she had said when she picked up that sign she knew that they all had to "DO" a lot of work together and rebuild Sea Bright.

It's at 12:15 of this video

On a brighter note, when you're around again lmk and you can come by!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 2:17PM
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Fishies, I didn't know that's where you are. My dd is right across from the cabanas that they are rebuilding. She right at the southernmost end. I will take you up on your offer next time I'm down there. Thanks for the "Do" info.

It was just so powerful to see it in person.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 2:35PM
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I grew up on the Jersey Shore and spent many summers frolicking at those Sea Bright beach clubs. It is surreal to see that region so damaged and many familiar landmarks washed away.

That said, and I know this will be unpopular, I have mixed feelings about rebuilding there. It is a barrier island, which is at best a temporary landform. I don't think this hurricane is an isolated incident. I don't have any great answers about the actual logistics of not rebuilding, but it pains me to see brand-new structures built that will still be right in the path of the next storm. I wonder in what ways a community can rebuild its sense of place, purpose, and pride without repeating previous mistakes?

Just food for thought - not trying to stir the pot or disagree with anyone.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 3:37PM
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I'm always in awe of the devastation that Mother Nature can wreak. But the aftermath, the torn up lives, the deaths, the family mementos destroyed with the homes are heart wrenching. Fortunately where I live I will never experience such a force of nature (maybe someday an earthquake), the last hurricane we had was in 1962 and as for snow storms, floods, tornadoes, they don't happen here. I count myself so lucky.

My thoughts and hopes for quick recovery always go to those who go through these events.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 3:51PM
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Our families are on LI, although we are in the midwest. My parents just had to replace all their landscaping--everything was dead from the seawater that came up to their doorstep--they were lucky--not inside. They lost both their cars to flood. My father in laws crawlspace flooded, and only 2 short months after the storm--he had not yet been able to return home, he passed away of a massive heart attack at 73. We put his house of the market, on the south shore of LI in janurary--we are under contract--but the price is massively reduced due to the circumstances.

Many of my HS and college friends lost their homes, many of my parents neighbors still aren't back. A childhood friend lost her husband, he was 39. Hit by a tree while trying to evacuate his family-2 daughters ages 3 and 5 and his 75+yo in laws.

You are right Bee when you saw pictures don't do it justice--it is hard to understand unless you see it, live it, or know of it first hand.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 3:53PM
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I think when I saw it on TV, it made me sad. And then when I see the destruction in person it really moves my soul.

Fishies, I didn't comment on the videos, but wow. I never thought to look at Youtube for videos. And christine, your story made me cry.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:59PM
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Sophie Wheeler

7 1/2 years after Katrina there are still plenty of places on the Gulf that are damaged or not rebuilt. I'm not diminishing the suffering inflicted by Sandy, but if New Orleans were New York, you'd bet that a lot more assistance would have come that way.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:31PM
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hollysprings, perhaps you should read this. If you are implying that somehow NY received special treatment and those people are now living carefree in their new and improved homes, you are very wrong.

Here is a link that might be useful: 6 months later, tearing down houses

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 9:01AM
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