Monday, July 22, 2013

Stronger than the Storm

Ok, so how many of you east coasters are sick and tired of that damn Stronger than the Storm commercial? Sure it's catchy and I understand that they are just trying to save local businesses at the Jersey Shore. But I've seen the horrible damage from Sandy first hand in Holgate (the very tip of Long Beach Island, NJ) and it is heart breaking what happened to our friends houses, the businesses that I've visited all my life, the beach that I long for all winter long...and I personally feel every last penny should be spent fixing up our town and all of the others that were effected. There are better ways to promote local businesses and LBI is already doing that! Just this past weekend a friend of mine hosted a Fashion Show which local businesses were all present or sponsored and they successfully raised money for LBI Love foundation and Jetty Rock Foundation. 

I am a Communications major and took many classes and an internship in Advertising/Marketing/PR. The cost of advertising time on radio alone is very expensive in the major areas like where I live in Philadelphia. I can't speak to TV commercial air time other than its more costly than radio and that commercial is played constantly! Is all the money really being spent wisely?

In Long Beach Island we are still waiting for the township to establish the dunes on the beaches and are told it will be at least until October. Everyone's houses are still vulnerable to damage with the next big storm until the dunes are put in and our island notoriously floods with most larger storms let alone if we were to encounter another hurricane with half the strength of Sandy.

Don't get me wrong, I am 100% for promoting local businesses. The mindset on LBI of little to no franchises on the island has always been something I loved but when areas are still struggling to protect themselves from any further damage I wish the constant campaigning would just back off a bit.

If you aren't familiar with the Holgate area here are a few pictures of what things still look like down "my end"of the island. I took these last month but it still looks like this. Fortunately you don't see this much devastation until you get to my neighborhood and most of the island has been cleaned up or is in the process of revamping. my family and I were very fortunate and only had minor damage and lost very little. I honestly thought our trailer would be gone (many are). Someone upstairs had to be looking over our little peace of paradise<3

95% of the beautiful million dollar homes on the beach in Holgate now look like this and are currently unihabitable.

Without the dunes in place, the ocean can easily breeze through and damage all of the smaller bungalow's across the street on the bay side that are still in the process of raising their properties. 

Our dock in the trailer park was destroyed along with the neighboring parks. Our Ice machine made its way into the bay and onto their dock. Some trailers from the neighboring park also unfortunately made their way into the bay or had the bay make its way into their trailers. We fortunately only lost our shed to sandy. The water line on our trailer showed that we were a mere few inches away from damage.

The large trailer park down the street housing hundreds in their summer time piece of paradise were washed away on top of each other and had damage so severe that the owner decided not to reopen. I am so thankful for the hard work our parks owner puts in to keep us all in our happy place.

Many homes lifted off of their foundation and floated into others. Here is one of the last remaining few that just recently was demoed. There were many others just like this that were cleaned up before I was able to get down. I still am sad that  in my preggo state I wasn't able to help more once the island was open to public. 

Another angle, the saddest part is the families whose homes were ruined like this had all of their property still in these homes. And just walking down the street you could see all of their things, couches, beds still with sheets on them, things hanging in their closets which really brings it all home that it could have been you and your family. It looked like a tornado came through. so many people, lost so many things.

Just this weekend we had major flooding from a simple thunderstorm. It's normal for our island to flood, it always has. But when the ocean meets the bay at certain points on the island and you see people walking with water up to their knees it puts it into perspective just how easy it would be to have a devastating blow to a place you call home again.

These pictures were taken by me within the last month. If your interested in seeing pictures of the storm, during the storm or directly after the storm here is one of many of the video's on you tube showing the devastation:

Were you effected by sandy? I'd love to hear your story, especially of any special finds post Sandy! We have friends that have connected with others on facebook and were able to reclaim some of their memories that washed up miles away.