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At the intersection of North Street and East Avenue, the first block off the beach in Bay Head, three of four houses were either destroyed or seemed on the verge of collapse. One house teetered on its piles and another, with half its foundation gone, tilted severely. Gravity, it seemed, would eventually win out.
A six-bedroom home owned by the Green family had a quarter of its first floor blown away and state officials had placed an orange sticker on it, saying it could not be reoccupied until it was repaired and determined to be structurally sound.
DIGGING OUT A SPECIAL BOAT
James Green, 22, a currency risk specialist with the global bank HSBC, stood outside the home on Saturday, confident that the house would survive Sandy as it had two centuries of storms.
“Our house is the oldest in Bay Head,” he said. “It was built in Point Pleasant in the late 18th century and used at one time as a morgue for shipwrecks. It knows bad weather. A previous owner moved it here in 1893. It has seen a lot of storms and is going to outlast this one.”
When Green’s mother had first returned to the house after the storm, it saddened her when she saw the bow of a small sailboat he had built in high school sticking from the sand in the back yard. She thought the boat was in pieces all around the place.
But James Green enlisted the help of five people, who dug around the bow and found the boat was intact in several feet of sand.
“I couldn’t have dug it out alone,” he said.
The boat, which he sailed in local regattas, will be handed down to his children when he has a family - just like he will someday inherit the house on East Avenue and pass it on to the next generation of Greens, he said.