Sandy Levels Social Barrier on Jersey Shore

Rich and Poor Towns United in Misery and Determination

Force of Nature: The Jersey shore has long been plagued by divisions between rich and poor towns. Sandy hit them both equally hard.
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Force of Nature: The Jersey shore has long been plagued by divisions between rich and poor towns. Sandy hit them both equally hard.

By Reuters

Published November 04, 2012.
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Since Tuesday, dozens of small front-end loaders were busy scraping sand from the streets and piling it into 5-foot-high (1.5 meters) mounds.

Several blocks west of the ocean on Osborne Street, a front yard was covered by 4 feet (1.2 meters) of sand. A tall fence ringed the yard and airborne sand had evidently been trapped by it in the same way snowdrifts are formed.

In Bay Head, as in Asbury Park, ruined carpets, appliances like washing machines and water heaters, clothing and other household belongings were piled high on the sidewalk outside dozens of homes.

Brothers Chris and Mark Watson were walking along Bay Head’s Main Street on Saturday to view a once-in-a-lifetime scene. They had time on their hands - National Guard troops had stopped them at a checkpoint, preventing them from inspecting their family home in Mantoloking, another well-to-do town to the south.

Too much flooding ahead, they were told. They would have to wait several more days.

During the storm, a fire fueled by natural gas and whipped by Sandy had destroyed million-dollar homes in Mantoloking. The wreckage saddened the Watsons.

“These homes have been in families for generations,” Chris Watson said. “I feel sorry for the owners. Everyone feels just so vulnerable.”

But what is physically destroyed can be rebuilt. It is the people that matter, Mark Watson said.

“Our prayers are with everyone facing a redefinition of their lives,” he said.


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