Monday, November 05, 2012

Shore Community Recovery....

Sandy on Sunday – 5 days later..

The weather on Sunday was simply beautiful. Sunshine with just a hint of clouds. . The ocean water was blue and inviting. The winds of Hurricane Sandy may have died down….but the aftermath remains. Just turn your face towards any street and you can see the destruction stretching out as far as you can see.

We started the day by taking a quick tour of one of our favorite dive spots, Manasquan Inlet. We left the rig behind and started out on foot towards the inlet. As we slowly walked along the road, the cleanup was in full effect around us. Piles of trash, in most places 6 or 7 feet high surrounded us. Mattresses, bookcases, sheetrock, lamps, the debris was everywhere. Each piece representing a slice of someone’s life. Books, clothes and photos all placed at the curb waiting to be carted off to the junkyard.

The inlet was hardly recognizable. A utility pole lay stretched across the road blocking the way. Wires dangling. The bathroom was gone. Ripped off its foundation. Only pieces of the concrete walls remain. The corner waffle house gutted. More utility poles lay strewn across rooftops. Balconies tilted dangerously off of houses. The 500lb wooden doors of a restaurant...gone...washed out to sea.

The photos you see don’t tell the whole story. They offer only a small peek into the destruction. Walking along this battered street made everyone just shake their heads in disbelief.

It was time to get back to the squad building. We had our own cleanup to do.

In the afternoon we took food to the workers in Mantoloking. Approaching the Rt 35 bridge was like entering a war zone. Boats and debris everywhere. Trees cut up and placed along the street or still laying across lawns.

As we drove over the bridge we could see the amazing power this hurricane delivered to the NJ coast. Hurricane Sandy had cut a new inlet at the base of the bridge…but the army core of engineers had already cut off the flow of water from the ocean. What an amazing feat. Tractors, bulldozers and dumptrucks were everywhere. Like ants they swarmed over the area. Each one taking us a step closer to returning this place to the people who live here.

We thank each of the workers out there laboring to bring our world back to some sense of normalcy. The Police, Fire Dept, First Aid, Rescue Workers, Construction Crews, Utility Crews and Volunteers everywhere…our heartfelt thanks.

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