But you can dip your toes in the water for free before 9am or after 5pm!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(And by the way, the most popular image circulating the ‘net of the fishing pier getting battered by a hurricane is from LAST YEAR.
Here is a link to its appearance on a 2011 forum: http://stripersurf.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2357506. 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.)
The pavilion, where the Ocean Grove Summer Band and various other things happen in the summer, emerged surprisingly unscathed.
The boardwalk is a mess, even in the good parts.
The preventative seawall of sand mostly got washed away and deposited onto Ocean Avenue.
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.
This post regards Ocean Grove’s Hurricane Sandy preparations, before the storm hit. For photos of how Ocean Grove fared AFTER Sandy, see a more recent post.
For fear that I’ll be unable to (a) post anything today for lack of electricity, and (b) go outside in a hurricane to take photos, I’m setting this up early, which means it’ll be old news by the time you see it. So it goes.
In preparation for Hurricane Sandy, Ocean Grove created some large walls of sand, presumably to protect its beaches.
When I visited Ocean Grove right before Hurricane Sandy, there were a bazillion curious people out taking photos (like me!), and the wind was whipping us all to pieces.
Residents were busy filling sandbags and nailing boards over their windows.
I hope everyone’s preparations are holding up.