Posts tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy’

May 14, 2013

These boards were made for walkin’

Rebuilding the boardwalk

Despite Ocean Grove being denied FEMA funding for rebuilding its boardwalk, the construction continues anyway. The Ocean Grove beach offices/ restrooms/ base of the fishing pier is one of the lucky sections to get a revamped boardwalk out of the deal.

Apparently this new boardwalk is a composite material. (Whether to use wood or composite for the new boardwalks has been the source of controversy in other shore towns [most notably Belmar].)


They’ve done a lot of construction since January:

January 2013: Ocean Grove boardwalk, rebuilding near the beach offices

January 2013: Ocean Grove boardwalk, rebuilding near the beach offices


Which is all great progress from what Sandy wrought:

October 31, 2012: Near the Ocean Grove beach offices immediately after Sandy

October 31, 2012: Near the Ocean Grove beach offices immediately after Sandy

October 31, 2012: Base of the OG fishing pier immediately after Sandy

October 31, 2012: Base of the OG fishing pier immediately after Sandy

May 13, 2013


Asbury Park lifesaving boat in front of the Casino

For Mother’s Day, we took my mother for a walk in Ocean Grove (with a quick jaunt into Asbury Park). I hadn’t been this close to the Casino since before Sandy.

They’ve cleaned up the rest of the area pretty well, so the lifesaving boat was likely dragged and intentionally placed here recently. I guess it’s one of those icons of Sandy, a reminder, a curiosity we can show the kids.

Playing in the trashed Asbury Park lifesaving boat.

Playing in the trashed Asbury Park lifesaving boat.

Just this past week, a brand new 8-foot wide asphalt path was laid between the end of the Ocean Grove boardwalk and the Asbury Park Casino, making that area accessible again.

January 2013— After the boardwalk was destroyed by Sandy, the only access to the Casino from Ocean Grove was by walking across dunes.

January 2013— After the boardwalk was destroyed by Sandy, the only access to the Casino from Ocean Grove was by walking across dunes.

The Casino serves as the bridge across Deal Lake between Asbury Park and Ocean Grove, linking the two boardwalks. The structure itself is still fenced off, but sources say that it’ll be open for Memorial Day.

Peeking over the fence into the Asbury Park Casino, May 2013;  this will all be cleaned up in two weeks

Peeking over the fence into the Asbury Park Casino, May 2013; this will all be cleaned up in two weeks

Currently, people can get from Asbury Park into Ocean Grove by detouring around the Casino onto the beach (which probably won’t work after Memorial Day, when you have to start paying for beach access).

Side of Asbury Park Casino, 2011

Side of Asbury Park Casino, 2011

The sand drops off into the ocean right about where the old demolished Casino foundations end, so circumnavigating this area isn’t entirely safe anyway, but it’s our only option at the moment. Here’s hoping for better access in two weeks!

February 26, 2013

Boat on a bridge

Boat on a bridge, a month after Sandy

This was taken on November 25, 2012, a month after Hurricane Sandy swept away east coast.

The boat is lying on a bridge in the Sea Bright-Rumson area… maybe the Shrewsbury River? I wasn’t the navigator, so I’m not entirely sure where this was.
Ed.: The navigator speaks!— this is the Navesink River, as seen from Middletown, NJ.

This represents the level of destruction in that area, I think… as long as the road was passable, a boat on a bridge didn’t fricking matter.

February 16, 2013

Beach closed

Beach closed

Still buried in sand, months after Sandy.

I dunno, it’s just these little things that get to me.

January 24, 2013


There's the Ocean Grove fisherman!


For as long as I can remember, the Ocean Grove fishing pier has featured a cute little fisherman dummy, who just sits there, fishing.

Ocean Grove fisherman, summer 2007

Ocean Grove fisherman, captured on film in August 2007


Of course, the Ocean Grove fishing pier no longer exists, courtesy of Sandy.

Ocean Grove fishing pier: Still there on Monday morning

Ocean Grove fishing pier, during Sandy


But there’s still a little fisherman dummy there.

Ocean Grove fisherman, wayyyyy up high

“Wow,” said my dad, “someone went to a lot of work to strap that guy up there.”

“Nah,” I said, “they could’ve just walked down what’s left of the pier. Piece of cake.”

“No, look at it,” my dad replied, “this remnant of the pier isn’t connected to the rest of pier at all. They’d need 20-foot-long arms.”

He’s right. Hot damn.


(I wish I could read those signs posted next to him. The lower sign starts with “Every,” but I can’t read the rest.)


EDIT, MAY 2013: The fisherman dummy has a name: Ralph.

He was first put on the pier in 1992, by Bob Borders and Carol Boniello, when it was rebuilt after the Halloween nor’easter. Sandy took him out, somewhere to sea. So Borders and Boniello put a spare little Ralph as a symbol of good will.

Tracey James, who photographed the installation, explained why.

“Ralph is an acronym for ‘Rising Above the Long Pier of Hope,’” she said.
—Mark Di Ionno, April 2012, “Despite FEMA denial, Ocean Grove bands together for Sandy rebuilding,”

And the sign apparently reads “Down the Shore Everything’s All Right.”

January 23, 2013


Nails from the remnants of Ocean Grove boardwalk pilings, January 2013

I visited the shore last weekend, because that’s where my family lives, and we took a stroll along the Ocean Grove shoreline.

It’s been over two months since Sandy. I had assumed the boardwalk would be completely fenced off by now— you know, to dissuade stupid sightseers like us from skipping about on warped and dangerous boards— but no. And we weren’t the only thrill-seekers out for a warped-board stroll.

Ocean Grove boardwalk: not really open, but not exactly closed (January 2013)

It’s sad. The whole shore is sad. Everyone knows that. You were there, or you saw the pictures, or whatever. This is old news.

What’s new and encouraging is the reconstruction— or the beginnings of preparing for it, anyway.

Ocean Grove boards from the boardwalk, piled next to the pilings

Ocean Grove volunteers have begun tearing the unsalvageable planks from the underlying pilings.

It looks as though they’re trying to save as much of the existing boardwalk as possible.

Ocean Grove boardwalk: what can we save?

I’m told that even Belmar has turned its sights towards rebuilding the boardwalk. Although… I’d like to think that Belmar can start concentrating on its frivolous boardwalk now because the rest of the town is in such a good place, but there’s talk that beginning boardwalk reconstruction might be intended to create a distraction for still-overwhelmed Belmar residents.

Still. I like the idea of raising morale.

January 5, 2013

So much for hiking

This was a trail at some point

The Summit/New Providence leg of the Passaic River Park is very close to where I live, and it’s a lovely quiet place to hike when I don’t feel like driving 20 minutes to some big overhyped state park.

Trail maintenance is performed irregularly by volunteers. The section of the trail near me has always been a little neglected, so I periodically go out there with hedge clippers and work gloves, and clean up the trail so it’s nice and hikeable.

Today was my first time out there since Sandy.


Large swaths of the trail are completely obliterated.

Giant 100-foot trees snapped in half—like twigs—then fell on other 100-foot trees, and brought down huge patches of the forest all in one fell swoop. Now there are huge piles of logs blocking the trails, and there’s no way to climb over them, or under them, or around them.

Normally, if the trail is blocked by a tree that I can’t move, I’d simply move the trail around the obstacle… but obstacles of this magnitude require a complete restructuring of the trail, which is a pretty ambitious project. And I didn’t see any obvious alternative routes while I was out there.

This goes beyond my ability to clean up.

Tho’ maybe if I had a chainsaw…

January 1, 2013

Photo of the year

Ocean Grove, October 31, 2012

In the past, the City Daily Photo community had “theme days” on the first of each month. January 1st was always “Photo of the Year,” where you (or your readers) picked your “best” photo from the past year.

This year, the City Daily Photo community is veering away from monthly “theme days,” so there is no January theme day.

But I haven’t been an active member of the community for quite some time anyway, so I’m not going to let that stop me! Heh.

I’m not sure that this photo is my “best,” but it sure got the most traffic (original post here; other Hurricane Sandy posts here). And I’ll always associate that damn storm with the experience of walking on those warped and treacherous boards at Ocean Grove.

To the my readers who have stuck with me despite this blog’s ongoing journey downhill: thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I may not always respond to every comment and every “like,” but I do read and deeply appreciate each one.

December 10, 2012

Fallen streetlight

A streetlight fall down go boom

Even far inland here in Summit, where things have more or less gotten back to normal, the effects of Hurricane Sandy are still evident every once in a while. There’s so much to take care of that some things just can’t be taken care of right now. ‘Sokay, it’ll happen eventually.

December 3, 2012


The first Gladstone train in over a month!!!

Finally— FINALLY— after much griping and lots of Adventures in Mass Transit™— NJ Transit finished cleaning up Hurricane Sandy’s mess on the Gladstone branch, and as of today, trains are stopping at the New Providence station once more!

Hello first Gladstone train!

This is a momentous occasion— the last scheduled train ran through here on October 28 (2012), so it’s been over a month since we had any rail traffic (not counting test trains).

Because I am a huge nerd, I got up early just to see THE ABSOLUTE FIRST passenger-carrying Gladstone train come through. Like I said— this is a momentous occasion, not to be missed!

Goodbye first Gladstone train!

You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me. I heart Gladstone trains.

For more information, check:

(I can recommend these all as pretty decent sources that helped me get through this period of elusive information.)

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