Thursday, December 6, 2012


This will definitely be my last post on "Superstorm Sandy" and what she has done to Long Beach Island. We plan to head back to Colorado in about a week and are starting to organize and pack for the long drive. Though I am not looking forward to it, I must admit that I am anxious to see our family and friends in the mountains.
But first, we made another trip to see our friend, John in Harvey Cedars and find out how he was doing with his 5 feet of sand. He has made progress with the help of family, friends and the use of this back hoe though it took the cutting down of trees to get it in his back yard. Still his wonderful work shop beneath his home and the vintage Volvo in the garage were a total loss.
Leaving his home this pile of debris at the end of the street was a testament to the destruction of Sandy.
Returning to Beach Haven at the southern end of the island to help my husband with waxing his boat for the winter I was astounded to see the changes.
When I was last there, just after the storm, the destruction was obvious but now it looked much, much worse. Residents and shop owners have returned, salvaged what they could and dragged what they couldn't to curb sides. Looking down street after street, piles were everywhere,and this is after trucks have been collecting and removing piles almost non stop for weeks.
Thanks to my friend Ralph Berglund for this photo of the temporary collection site, where "two Star Wars creature grab bucket-fulls of the stuff and place it in other trucks which then head off to the landfill in Stafford Township". Check out his wonderful blog at:
Having taken many photos in past years of the causeway clam shack, originally named "Happy Dayz", I went back to capture its memorial plaque. Not a board of the old structure remained, but some enterprising person had left this marker on one of the pilings. A very different picture than my flag adorned shot in this years calendar.
Back home in Surf City where most of the trash piles are gone, I returned to the beach for some perspective. The gulls were enjoying their new low tide island.
The surfers were crossing the "bar" on their way ashore.
And wading through the deeper water to the beach.
As the sun set, I again appreciated the peace and beauty of living near the ocean - when storms like Sandy are not on the horizon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


It has been more than 3 weeks since Super-storm Sandy did such devastation to the Eastern seaboard, and I am still adding posts and photos to my blog from Long Beach Island, NJ. We stayed at our home during the storm, confident that we would be fine in the home my parents originally built in 1938, and we remodeled 17 years ago. It had weathered all storms in the past, including the devastating '44 Hurricane - and it was a long way to Colorado where we spend our winters. Again we were blessed with no damage, except loss of some services which have since been restored. Not so for many other areas. Yesterday we finally drove through Beach Haven West, a community to the south adjacent to the causeway to the island and where for the past two years we have enjoyed playing bridge with many new friends.

As we turned off of the causeway to enter Beach Haven West I was able to snap a distant picture of a few of the boats still by the trees where they had been deposited by the storm weeks ago.

The devastation was obvious as soon as we turned into the first street.

Piles and piles of debris still remained at the curbside waiting for pick up.

Mixed among the lumber and bags of wet insulation were items of furniture.

Sofas and mattresses that had become wet in the floods were being disposed of as the mildew took over.

Street after street was filled with curbside deposits of peoples lives.

And boats and trucks were added to the debris left by Sandy in some yards. It was hard to view this let alone photograph it. How much we have to be thankful for.

Back on the island, going home we drove the roads near the bay. Things weren't much different there, except for the quantity.
The clean up for Super Sandy is going to take a long time and a huge amount of money. And other areas further north are much worse.
At the end of our driveway I noticed that Oakie's Bull had acquired a "dunce cap" - a reminder , I guess that even a bull was not strong enough to withstand Sandy's power.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


This morning we got up early and after breakfast rode our bikes to the re-opened drugstore , in search of a newspaper, not available for 2 weeks - but still not - yet.
On the way home we stopped at the fire house to see what was going on. Since the storm it has become the center of activity.
We cannot give enough credit and thanks to all the people like Barbara who have worked untiringly preparing 3 meals a day to feed all of the linemen and workers who have come from other states to help restore services to our battered island.
They have collected donations of clothing and food to give free to those who needed it.
The tables at this time are bursting with offerings.
Back on our beach, it was low tide and for the first time in many years we could see the jetty - and a newly formed, and completely exposed bar beyond. Now we knew where most of our dune sand had gone.
We got in Chuck's truck and headed north to hard hit Harvey Cedars to check on a friend who lived there that I was sure had now returned. He had, and he, children and grandchildren were busy digging 5 or more feet of sand out of his lower level, which had once housed a very well equipped work shop. The very extensive dunes from the replenishment 2 years before had been relocated to the center of the island by the wind and waves.
The house on the ocean of John's street had lost a lot as the ocean came out through the garage doors.
The work there to the beach and dunes was ongoing as tractors pushed sand up from the beach,
Pushing it into high piles.
Almost every street in this area showed the amount of work yet needing to be done,
What had been done,
and what still lay ahead.
The task seemed almost insurmountable and the heartbreak for the home owners endless.


As if Hurricane Sandy wasn't enough, Mother Nature added a nor'easter as icing on the cake.
Our beach and dunes were looking pretty good with all the hard work of the beach tractor crews.
In preparation for the coming storm they doubled their efforts, and the piles of sand got larger.
The rain and sleet started in the late afternoon, and ice began to build up on our windows.
The next morning the ocean was angry again, throwing its spray onto the beach.
The waves began to attack the new dunes at high tide.
But fortunately the storm was not long lasting, and the next day the sun came back out and the tractors were removed.
In the evening after sunset, a soft glow colored the receding water on the newly scoured beach.
Saturday the governor finally lifted the mandatory evacuation order, homeowners were allowed to return to the island, and we were able to get off to shop and retrieve our mail, held for two weeks at the Tuckerton post office. We were finally able to see a bit of the damage done on the entrance road to the island. Billboards, if still standing were reduced to a fraction of their former size.
Beach Haven West sustained considerable damage from the high tides. Only a very small bit was visible as we sped by.
This was only one of many boats that was deposited on the marshes and on the highway by Sandy.
Back in Surf City I spied another sign that said it all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I thought I had written enough about Hurricane Sandy but this was a new day and new experiences, so I am back.
Early on this beautiful day, a week after Sandy's arrival, I went back to the beach. Tractors were already at work moving sand up from the ocean edge to back up the damaged dunes. Another storm, a strong nor'easter was predicted for later in the week. We have to be prepared. The gulls were accumulating in hopes of some food.
Looking down the beach, the same activity was going on as far as I could see.
Back in our yard our Robin was also out looking for food. Somehow he had weathered the storm, and seemed to be happy living in our large holly tree along with a couple of friends. Nature is amazing in its ability to survive. I have seen birds everywhere.
Since this was the first day residents were allowed back to check on their property we were busy all morning greeting friends. In the afternoon we decided to try to get to the southern end of Long Beach Island, where my husband kept his boat. We passed police check points several places, and when we got down to the Acme Market in Spray Beach this is what the parking lot looked like. It has now become a temporary dump.
Everywhere people were dragging out wet belonging from garages and homes either to dry, or to be added to the piles of debris.
Because Chuck knew the policeman in Beach Haven - a fellow fisherman - he allowed us to go on to Morrison's Marine. We had heard that it was a mess, am accurate assessment. As we drove up we were greeted by this accumulation of boats on the side of the street.
Thought a lot of the boats had been moved this beauty was still where it has been deposited by the receding water.
Snowgoose, we were told had fared very well until some other boats floated into it and knocked it off the blocks.
However many of the boats in the yard had done worse.
These ended up together in the end of the street.
The "Dotty G", Chuck's neighbor ended up on the dock, next to another boat with it's stern underwater.
Everywhere we went there were rolls of carpet, mattresses, furniture at the curb side.
We drove up to the ocean so see the "Sea Shell", a nice restaurant and Tiki Bar near the beach. It was now on the beach, because the beach had moved back to nearly inundate it.
The streets leading up to the ocean had been covered with sand where there were not well established dunes. They were now plowed, stranding parked cars behind a berm of sand.
On the beach a concerted effort was being made to create new dunes where there were none, but there is little chance that the loose sand will offer much protection in the next storm.
Ocean Road, where we have often biked, though plowed was a mess - not the well kept street it had been earlier.
Looking up another street we could see where the ocean had relocated a house that had dared build too near.