Wish I had time for a halfway-decent post today, but I don’t. Instead— stay strong, New Jersey! You can do this!
I was in Belmar today. Here’s the scoop:
- The Arts Council at 608 River Street is no longer accepting clothing donations, but they are still accepting other kinds of donations (as far as I know).
- If you want to volunteer, you can just show up at the gymnasium/rec center at 601 Main Street (from 9 or 10am-6pm? -ish?), and they have a volunteer sign-in sheet, and they will assign you to something.
- If you want to volunteer, and group efforts aren’t really your thing, you can wander around Belmar and ask residents what they need you to do.
And don’t worry about wandering deserted streets— a LOT of people are outside, either hauling all their destroyed possessions to the curbing, or hauling salvageable possessions to a dry area, or draining their basements (one guy had six feet of water, and FISH in his basement— said the kellies were beating the stripers), or shoveling sand out of driveways, or whatever.
(Bring work gloves and shoes that can get muddy.)
The vast majority of the town is still out of power.
I spoke to a lot of residents, and they’re overall surprisingly positive— or, y’know, as positive as you can be about losing your house and cars— and many are happy to accept any help you can give them. Many just want to talk.
Sometimes, when I’m commuting or trapped in a crowd, I think to myself, “I %*&ing HATE PEOPLE.”
This is not one of those times. People can be awesome.
Right now, here’s the deal:
- I’m not a real reporter.
- Gas is hard to come by.
- Unnecessary trips to drive around and “look” at local towns seem frivolous.
So here are some other photographers’ photos of what these towns look like now (plus some of my old outdated photos, ‘cos I’ve been photographing the shore for years).