The storm surviving shore


mac and mancos

All photos by Andi Leff (’14)/ Eastside Photo Editor

After the devastating storm that tackled the northeastern shores in October 2012, things were not looking good for the survival of the shore. Waves of salt seawater rushed through the streets of our beloved beaches; leaving boardwalks that were full of activity and chatter just days before now lifeless and destroyed. Stores were struggling to keep a steady income during the winter and early spring months and families had homes completely obliterated and were left with noting but rubble and broken memories.

The cost of all the damage has escalated to about $50 billion; making Hurricane Sandy the second-costliest in the nation’s history, topping Hurricane Andrew by about $6 billion. Several businesses were shut down due to the inability to maintain a profit. Some stores were getting no more than one or two customers per day.

When I arrived, I was pleased to find the Jersey Shore back to its old self. The hustle and bustle was back to the shore. Shops were flourishing with people armed with spending money and stands along the boardwalk such as Johnson’s Popcorn, Kohr’s Brothers Ice Cream and Manco & Manco’s Pizza shop had lines out the door!

During my stay in Ocean City, I decided to eat lunch at one of the restaurants not too far from the beach. After debating all my options, I went with Luigi’s Italian restaurant. As soon as you walk in you can see photos along the walls of their restaurant after Sandy.

“The whole place was flooded and we had to renovate the entire restaurant,” said one of the workers. “There was approximately three and a half feet of water in the restaurant and everything was water-logged and had to be removed.”

As I continued to chat with some of the workers, I was surprised to hear that so many people were willing to help out.

“We have had a tremendous support of people willing to help and it’s appreciated. The store was a wreck after Sandy and it took the whole community to build it back up. The restaurant didn’t re-open for business until early January, but I am happy now to say that the restaurant’s business is coming back and it has survived the storm,” the worker said.

Despite all the worry about the economic re-build of the shore through the shops, casinos, hotels and restaurants, there is another major part of the beach everyone is forgetting about; the actual people. Hundreds upon thousands of homes were crushed by monstrous Sandy. Whether it was somebody’s vacation home, or their full-time residential spot, people were left without running water and power for up to 17 days.

A member of our very own East community was effected by Hurricane Sandy, Mrs. McVeigh.

She explained her situation, “The whole first floor was destroyed. Water pipes bursted and we had a small electrical fire…we lost all our furniture, we needed a new roof and the upstairs was wind-damaged.”

Mrs. McVeigh’s house was located a couples block form the beach in Venter. She said that they were lucky enough to not have had “any family photos or anything of sentimental value in the house.”

She also said, “So far [it has] taken 11 months until the house was useable, and it’s still not completely done. Windows need to be replaced and the house is going to have to be lifted.

The emotional toll a tragedy like this takes on a person is something nobody can imagine, but all we can do is stay positive and think about what to do next. Everything is being re-built and the shore is flourishing once more. The good ol’ Jersey shore we have come to love is back! We just need to look on the positive side of things, everything is going to be okay in the end!”