Carrie, Eloise, Belle, David and Gloria. Charlie, Chris and Allison, Gabrielle and Hugo. Claus, Marco and Bob, Andrew. Danielle, Beryl, Gordon, Aaron, Felix, Bertha, Ethel, Edward, Fran, Danny. Bonnie, Dennis, Floyd, and then there’s was Sandy.
No. These are not baby names I have considered in my lifetime. They are the tropical cyclones my family and I have weathered living on the New Jersey Shore since the early 70’s. Gloria was the naughty girl who blew off my roof over the living room. We New Jersey Shore folks, between the months of June and October are under watch for these storms.
Alone, in the 1990’s, thirteen tropical cyclones affected New Jersey. The 1991 the Halloween Perfect Storm eroded beaches severely along the coast.
Perfect Storm, caused strong waves of up to 30 feet (9 m) in height. High tides along the shore caused significant bay flooding. Strong waves and persistent intense winds caused extreme beach erosion, amounting to 13.5 million cubic feet (383,000 m) of sand lost in one location. In all, damage amounted to $90 million (1991 USD, $142 million 2008 USD).
Another Halloween storm, that left us without power for about two weeks., Hurricane Sandy (no relation) was the most destructive hurricane ever recorded in New Jersey. The second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history caused widespread, devastating damage and left millions of New Jersey residents, for some two million residents lasting as long as three weeks.
We were cut off by a huge oak that had fallen across our access road and we survived by cooking in our fireplace stove, gathering wood from the property.
When we finally were able to leave our property, the surrounding damage was as though we lived in a war zone. Everything was leveled. Boats plowed into houses that were still standing. Very little of everything was left.
Sandy became the worst hurricane to affect the state on record, killing 37 and causing nearly $30 billion in damages. The storm surge flooding causes massive destruction.
I know that while you are reading this you’re scratching your head and wondering why anyone would ever live on the New Jersey Shore. Well, I can tell you the answer is we have water in our veins that overpowers the need to live inland.
For me, being able to wake up in the morning and have my coffee with an ocean view is worth the fear of nature’s wrath. The sea inside of me will not let go and all the days I spend breathing in the fresh salt air is well worth a few days of sea worthy courage I have to endure for this magnificent way of life.
So here I sit very grateful Joaquin has decided not to visit our shores this year. Sure the rain is depressing and the constant days of hearing the wind roar through our mighty oaks gets old. Even the thought of raking up the mess Joaquin has left behind isn’t really bothering me. Because I know tomorrow, or one day soon, the ocean view will come back to great me. All of this making the sea inside of me feeling very blessed, indeed.
Copyright Sandra Hart© 2015. All Rights Reserved