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UNCLE JACK'S WEBLOG
Friday, August 2, 2013
Jersey Shore Nine Months after Sandy
       Uncle Jack and Mrs. U.J. spent a couple of days this week visiting friends who live in Seaside Park, N.J. (next door to Seaside Heights, made infamous by Snooki and friends on TV). Nine months have passed since Superstorm Sandy laid waste to that part of the Jersey shore but the devastating effects are still evident. Their friends took them on a "disaster tour" of some of the towns north of Seaside Park {including Mantoloking where 300 of the 500 houses in town were seriously damaged or destroyed). It was a revelation.
       They have experienced many a hurricane on the Outer Banks over the past 40 years including Isabel and Irene, both of which opened new inlets and did lots of damage, but none of those storms even came close to doing to the Outer Banks what Sandy did to the Jersey Shore. The only comparable catastrophe they have seen with their own eyes was along the Gulf Shore in Mississippi and Alabama after Katrina.
       Coincidentally the New Yorker magazine had a long article recently about the future of the Jersey Shore after Sandy, knowing that things can only get worse with further global warming. Much of what the article says is equally applicable to the Outer Banks
but the problems are more severe along the Jersey shore because of the density and nature of development.
       Vast numbers of older buildings in the Jersey towns are not elevated more than a foot or two so when Sandy flooded entire communities to a depth of several feet they were inundated. Nine months after Sandy tens of thousands of them have yet to be repaired. Many are simply awaiting demolition because the cost of restoring them is too great.
Others may have to wait many more months because there aren't enough contractors in all of New Jersey to do what needs to be done.
              Not exactly fun in the sun any more on the Jersey Shore.


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These vacant oceanfront lots in Mantoloking held substantial homes before Sandy wiped them out.

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This is where they wound up. Mountainous piles of rubble dot the landscape up and down the shore even nine months after the storm and much more is yet to come.

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This is a typical scene everywhere---houses going up on pilings for the first time. Reminiscent of the boom times for sandbag contractors in South Nags Head.

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Why does one house survive while the one next door gets destroyed? Mother Nature is inscrutable.

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Behind this steel barrier there was once a row of upscale houses and no doubt before long there will be another---all up on pilings and very, very expensive.

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Own a frontloader on the Jersey Shore? Your future prosperity is guaranteed.

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Meanwhile back in Seaside Park a group of kite enthusiasts gather for a "fly-off". Access to the beach costs $10 a day per person. A season ticket for locals costs $50 except senior citizens who pay $20.

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Municipal parking lots nearby charge $2.50 per hour. No wonder so many Jersey folks love the Outer Banks.

posted by Uncle Jack at 1:09 PM

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Except for short hiatus in Baltimore Uncle Jack has lived in Nags Head for over 45 years. He was a columnist for the Outer Banks Current and its successor, the Outer Banks Sentinel, for 20 years. A collection of his columns is available from Amazon Kindle under the title Uncle Jack's Outer Banks. He and Mrs. Uncle Jack, aka Sue, live in South Nags Head whence he observes and sometimes comments on the passing parade.
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