Ten Years After Sandy

It's a beautiful fall day in NJ today.  Blue skies.  Trees in full autumnal color.  Warm enough to be out in the sun without a jacket.  (Although once that sun starts to go down it's going to be a different story.)  A perfect Saturday.

How different it was 10 years ago.  Knowing that a hurricane was coming.  Knowing that a Nor'easter was coming.  Not knowing exactly what would happen.  Knowing it would be bad.  Not knowing how bad it would be.

Waiting after the storm had passed and still not knowing.  Then seeing the photos:

Was our house still there?  It was, but it would be a long time before anyone was able to get back on the barrier island.  Getting there was not easy, even after the path had been cleared.  Seeing the land where I had spent my summers completely dissemated.

We were lucky enough to be able to find a contractor right away (which was both a good thing and a bad thing).  My mother was determined to be able to get into the house by Memorial Day 2013.  The deadline wasn't quite made, but...

The beach was not quite the same that year...

Five years after the storm, things were better, but...

Construction continued...

Along with beach restoration (6 years after the storm)

Dune grass was planted 7 years after Sandy:

It changed the way things "used to be" but hopefully is more protective.  

Eight years after Sandy

  Nine years after Sandy.

Even 9 years later construction continued...

Small beach homes are being replaced by much larger, elevated structures that fill every speck of land.

Ten years after, as construction continues with taller and larger homes crowding the landscape, I have to wonder, are we really restoring the shore?  Or are we turning a blind eye, ignoring the fact that more people and more structures on this small island might not be the best thing to do as ocean waters rise?  

Ten years later, we still remember Sandy, but what have we learned?  Have we learned?


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