Hurricane Sandy Update – My hometown isn’t there anymore

I had a post all set for today, but I’ll send it to you some other time.

This is one of those events that really puts your life into perspective.  I finally got in touch with my sister today.  She lives on the water at the Jersey Shore, in my home town.

She evacuated to my brother’s house, where there was little damage.  They are just without power.

Yesterday, she drove through what she called a “war zone” and got as close to her house (the house I grew up in) as she could.  She then had to wade through hip-high water for several blocks just to see if the house was still there.

Luckily it was still standing, but the waters had surged over 20 feet higher than normal and flooded the basement and garage. She was very lucky.

My home town is flooded several miles inland.  The church I got married in is under water.  The elementary school I went to is still under water and probably a total loss.

My nephew took a canoe out toward the ocean and got as far as he cold before the national guard stopped him.  A huge house floated down the canal and rammed into the bridge that separates the beach side of town from the boro side.  The ocean/beach starts at the base of the bridge now.  Miles of houses between the bridge and the former line of the ocean are under water or just plain gone. The boardwalk where I worked as a teenager is not there anymore.  Structures that are standing are past repair.  Highways suddenly stop and turn into beach.  Where there are still roads, she said she couldn’t navigate because so many trees are down.  She called the street my husband used to live on “a war zone”

Seaside Heights and Bay head are still on fire.  Some houses survived, but now they are burning because there is a river of water between them and the rescue workers.  The national guard is just trying to get any survivors to the other side of the bridges.

My sister is a hospice nurse, and has been working since Saturday relocating/evacuating/saving patients.  She then worked on finding homes/shelters for eight of her coworkers whose houses are a complete loss.  One of her friends is missing.  She waded to the girl’s house, but it wasn’t there anymore. It was just gone.

This is insane.  This is the type of thing you hear about in movies, or see on the news in “other places”.  This kind of thing does not happen in your home town.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have suffered so little damage where I am.  So many lives will be changed forever.

Please pray or send positive energy to all those effected by this horrible storm.

It is very surreal, knowing that the places you grew up with, the places where you worked and played … are just not there anymore.



34 responses to “Hurricane Sandy Update – My hometown isn’t there anymore

  1. It must be very surreal to have all this removed or destroyed in a way that will never be the same again, indeed, just like a war zone. Memories of the past don’t wait for old age, nature intervenes.

  2. I’m so sorry, Jennifer for the devasatation of your hometown. So awful to read and I’m thankful that you and your family are safe. Do take care. 🙂

  3. Can’t hit “like” for such a sad situation. Glad those near and dear to you are safe, but the devastation is mind-numbing. It’s a gorgeous, normal day in Dallas, TX. Wish I could send a little of it to those who are living through such terrible times.

  4. Julie Catherine

    Jennifer, I am so grateful that you and your family are safe; and my heart aches for all the loss and devastation. I have been watching the updates and it’s heartbreaking. Sending prayers to all who have suffered throughout this ordeal. I’m so sorry. ~ Love, Julie xoxox

  5. sososo sorry (hugs) I will pray for those who suffered and are suffering still from this horrific disaster

  6. Wow, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine the loss everyone must be feeling. Thinking of you and yours.

  7. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to my hometown and have it be gone. I hope your sister’s friend will have taken refuge someone and is safe. Our greatest works are still nothing compared to the power of nature. But we find the strength to go on and rebuild. Sending those positive thoughts and wishes to everyone affected by disaster everywhere.

  8. Wow. I’m so sorry for your loss Jen. I hope the damage is limited to property and that they find that missing girl. xo

  9. My heart goes out to you and your family. Our city had one death–a woman killed by a flying sign. As hard as the loss of property is, you still have your loved ones near you. Take heart and take hope. Prayers and best wishes for your continuing strength as you and your family rebuild together.

  10. 😦 Your heart must be just about broke … <>

  11. Holy crap! I couldn’t even imagine. Thanks for sharing. I am glad your family is ok.

  12. Jennifer, I’m so sorry for you and your friends and family and for everyone affected by this terrible storm. I see the pictures on T.V. and the destruction is overwhelming. I pray every day for all those affected. So glad your loved ones are safe.

  13. I’m so sorry for you and your family. I don’t know which shore point you’re referring to but I know my beloved Ocean City will never be the same. When my hubby and I were first dating our first overnight “trip” was to his family’s shore house. We spent many weekends there. We walked the boardwalk countless times. He didn’t propose to me there only because he knew I’d see it coming. I don’t know what we’ll do if we lose that piece of our history. And that’s just us. That house has been in his family for generations. I’m heartbroken over all this and my thoughts go out to everyone effected.

  14. I simply can’t imagine. My heart goes out to all those affected…prayers!!!

  15. Glad to hear you and your family, in spite of the losses, are safe. Prayers and positive vibes continue!

  16. Wow, like you said, you think of these things as being something that happens somewhere else, or to someone else, and of course being in the UK, I’m away from it all, but because of social networking, I think we all feel a bit closer to these things and a bit more tied to the people who it is happening to. I’m so sorry for all the people who are suffering.

  17. I can’t believe how bad it was. I’ve been watching it on TV and it does look like a disaster film. Hope your sister and friends will be okay.

  18. How incredibly devastating that storm was! I am glad to read that your family is safe, even though some of your childhood places are not. I live in a flood plain and have seen first hand what walls of water can do. It changes lives as well as landscapes. I hope your sister’s friend is found safe and sound. She is doing fantastic work, as are all the people who have helped others before knowing what was happening to their own homes and families and all those who will continue to help and rebuild until things are back to relative normalcy.

  19. I’m so sorry for everything you guys lost. I see videos from areas that were hit the hardest and it’s just so tragic and heartbreaking. I’m glad you and your family are safe, that’s the most important. God bless.

  20. I’m glad your sister was alright. Am still praying for everyone affected by this horrific storm. It’s so sad that so many landmarks are gone and so many lives were so affected.

  21. Robert Gregory

    I’m not one to pray much, but will for sure for these people affected by the storm.

  22. I’m so very sorry that this has happened to you and your family. Is there anything I can do to help. Do they need food and water sent to them??

  23. Oh, Jenn, I’m so sorry. I am very, very thankful your sister and her family got out of there okay and no one in your family was hurt. I remember when Hurricane Charley came through here in 2004 and the devastation it left behind. Houses reduced to toothpicks if there was anything left at all. Great, ancient trees gone; landscapes changed forever. It, too, looked like a warzone. Nature is a very powerful thing and should never be underestimated. I hope you have lots of pictures from your hometown while growing up so you can reflect on them and be reminded of a special time in your life. I can say without a doubt, new life will spring from this devastation, and with it, new hope. As tragic as this end was, a new beginning is waiting around the corner. My prayers are with everyone affected by this storm, and I urge everyone to check with local Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc. to see how you can help in relief efforts. It’s cold up there. Many people have no food, no clothing, no blankets, diapers, etc. Don’t forget the SPCA and Humane Societies to see how you can assist those with pets as well.

  24. From the other side of the Atlantic, deepest, deepest sympathies. I can’t begin to understand what folk are going through over there.

  25. I’m so sorry honey. It’s just sounds awful 😦



  26. Jennifer my first thought upon reading this was Thank you Lord for no more loss of life than there was, secondly how very devastating and brave each person in that “war zone” must be and thirdly how my heart aches at the sorrow we all feel for you and everyone else that has lost so much in the way of “home”. There is no solace to be taken at the moment in the grief but eventually the yearning for what was will turn to beautiful memories to wander through and relive. God Bless You dear one.

  27. So sad to hear about your loss, and I wish them all the best of luck in the reconstruction efforts.

  28. Oh my… I’m soooo sorry.

  29. Wow, Sorry for the loss you have been hit with. Good that your family is OK. I’ve read so many blogs today about this same thing and it stinks. Here in the Thumb region of Michigan, all we received was normal for this time of year rainfall, and winds that were a little higher than usual… Be well.

  30. My heart goes out to your family, Jennifer. I’m glad they’re all safe, and wish them the best as they work to rebuild. I cannot imagine what that must be like.

  31. My heart is sad for you and your family, Jennifer. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be for you all. Seeing it on TV is one thing, but in your case where it used to be home, it’s a whole different issue. Like you said, this happens in movies, and it’s not supposed to happen to “home.” Prayers sent for all involved.