Friday, November 2, 2012

Sandy--Trick or Treat?

The Governor's Evacuation Order has finally been rescinded and property owners can now return to the barrier islands (assuming that the roads are passable) to inspect damage and start the process of clean up.  Diaristwoman and I will go to Brigantine tomorrow.  The islands still don't have electricity so I'm bringing battery operated tools.  I'm hopeful that our house, which is located on a high point of the island, is still standing.  I've seen photos on the internet showing flooding in Brigantine where one can see just the tops of automobiles sticking above the flood waters (note to self: don't buy any used cars from New Jersey for a few years!).  All of those photos are from areas of the island that have a history of flooding during bad storms.

My benchmark storm, by which I measure all others (so far) is the Ash Wednesday Nor'easter of 1962.  That late winter storm put the whole island briefly under water and pushed the sand dunes across the island from the ocean side to the bay, and what sand wasn't left clogging roads and lawns was dumped into the bay.  It took a year and a half for dredges to pump the sand from the bay back to the ocean front of the island and many many years to build the dunes back up.  Many homes in Brigantine and up and down the Jersey shore were total loses due to that storm.  Our house was lucky.  We had 3 inches of muck in the lower level of the house and my father quickly put me in charge of a mop and ringer bucket to take care of that.  Later on, he hired a man with a road grader to scrape the foot of beach sand off the lawn and throw down some grass seed and that was it for our storm recovery efforts. The only other thing out of the ordinary with that 1962 storm was that we had a large propane tank from Lakehurst, New Jersey, which is about 75 miles north of Brigantine, deposited in our front yard.  The gas company eventually came and retrieved it.  I  hope our little house's run of luck has remained strong!  We shall see.  One thing in our favor is that the dunes are (probably were) much larger than in 1962.  I've heard from another club member that BYC's docks took a hit but it appears that our clubhouse wasn't flooded.  I have seen photos from the Surf City Yacht Club on neighboring Long Beach Island and they aren't pretty

Finally, a few days ago President Barack Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie inspected the damage on Brigantine.  It's never a good thing when major politicians come to "inspect" your town after a big storm.  The only thing we're missing is a crew from the Weather Channel!

Did I get a Trick or a (lucky) Treat this Halloween?  From left to right, our scary Halloween Jack O'laterns: Brigantine Mayor Phil Guenther, President Barack Obama and NJ Governor Chris Christie.

1 comment:

  1. IMHO, Chris Christie is a lot less scary than our Commander in Chief. Good luck tomorrow, Geo and Diaristwoman. May the tide have stopped at your doorstep.