I don't even know where this phone pole came from. There are no above-ground poles in the area.

My family and I checked out the aftermath in Ocean Grove yesterday. Based on what I’ve seen in the news, this isn’t the worst of the damage, but it’s the “backyard” I’ve known all my life, and it kills me to see it like this.

I… I don’t have words.

It looks apocalyptic.

Ocean Avenue, a main scenic road connecting several of the central Jersey beaches, was covered with sand, which has been shoveled to the side.

It’s clear that Ocean Grove flooded pretty far inland (it’s dry now, but things seem to have floated into odd places), and the boardwalk is trashed.

Ocean Grove boardwalk: crummy boards for walking

Comforting friends on the boardwalk


I think this stuff hits home the worst when you know what it was supposed to look like.

Remember the Ocean Grove fishing pier I showed you a couple days ago? It was washed into the ocean a few hours after I took that photo.

Ocean Grove fishing pier: Still there on Monday morning Ocean Grove fishing pier: Not still there on Wednesday evening

Ocean Grove fishing pier. Left: 10/29/12, 10:47AM; right: 10/31/12, 5:30PM


Ocean Grove fishing club: Extant Ocean Grove fishing club: Not there anymore

Ocean Grove fishing pier. Left: 3/4/12, 5:27PM; right: 10/31/12, 5:27PM


(And by the way, the most popular image circulating the ‘net of the fishing pier getting battered by a hurricane is from LAST YEAR.


Ocean Grove fishing pier, circa 2011. Not my photo. Not from Hurricane Sandy.

Here is a link to its appearance on a 2011 forum: I saw that image BEFORE I went out to take my own photo (and in fact it was what propelled me to go out in a hurricane and say goodbye to the pier). The gate is open in that photo, and the gate was closed when I got there.)

Moving on:


The pavilion, where the Ocean Grove Summer Band and various other things happen in the summer, emerged surprisingly unscathed.

Ocean Grove pavilion, before Ocean Grove pavilion, after

Pavilion. Left: 10/28/12, 11:28AM; right: 10/31/12, 5:39PM


The boardwalk is a mess, even in the good parts.

Ocean Grove boardwalk (near Bradley Beach), before (in tropical storm conditions) Ocean Grove boardwalk, after

Ocean Grove boardwalk. Left: 10/29/12, 10:47AM; right: 10/31/12, 5:35PM


The preventative seawall of sand mostly got washed away and deposited onto Ocean Avenue.

Ocean Grove, Hurricane Sandy beach wall preparations, looking south Well, that sea wall is sure gone.

Ocean Grove sandy sea wall, an attempt to stave off the hurricane. Left, 10/28/12, 12:11PM; right (all gone): 10/31/12, 5:28PM

The tents and most of the houses seem okay; the Auditorium has some roof damage. (I’ll show that in a day or two. Other people’s photos of the Great Auditorium’s damage are already available around the interweb.)

Flood damage is less visible, but a LOT of places flooded.

Here’s a paraphrased text conversation my mom had with a coworker this morning:

Mom: “Hi Coworker! I have no power and no phone. Do we have work today? How are you?”
Coworker: “Hi Josy’s Mom! Office is closed today. My place flooded. I lost everything.”

My family got off obscenely easy.

You can text REDCROSS to 90999 to send a $10 donation to Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts; Huffington Post has compiled a list of other ways to contribute, too.

8 Responses to “Devastation”

  1. Thanks so much for posting the pictures. My mom lives just blocks from where you took your photos. I’ve talked to her and know she’s safe, but seeing pictures of the area really helps me see what she is dealing with now. Much appreciated.

    • I’m glad I could help at all; I don’t really know what else I can do, except spread information. I know this area didn’t suffer as badly as a lot of communities, but it’s still surreal to see it like this.

  2. Thanks for sharing these posts – sad to see everything so torn up. Praying for a speedy recovery and restoration!


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