- Several months after Hurricane Sandy ripped into houses and stripped docks clean, geologist Orrin Pilkey stands validated in the worst possible way after he predicted exactly what a storm the size of Sandy would do to the mid-Atlantic coast and New York City. In the November issue of Outside, Pilkey takes David Gessner on a tour of destruction in the wake of Sandy. Gathered here are some of the pictures from their journey.
Normandy Beach, New JerseyThe town of Normandy Beach was heavily damaged by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, which collapsed many houses, while the flood waters created uninhabitable conditions.
Normandy Beach, New JerseyDespite dangers, almost 30 percent of the U.S. population lives by the shore. The $60 billion federal aid package passed by Congress last winter allotted a portion of the funding to the most distressed areas. But, as Orrin points out, this means using taxpayer money to rebuild in flood zones. Which is a little like rebuilding on a train track.
Beach Haven Crest, New JerseyThe owner of the house in front of this one refused to sign the easement to allow the city to build a dune to protect homes along the beach. When Sandy came, the house was pushed into this one and completely destroyed, with 4 feet of sand inside. The owner will still not sign the easement to protect the property.
Mantoloking, New JerseyThe town of Mantoloking was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, with only 6 houses being found habitable. Residents were not allowed back in until 4 months after the storm and state police keep any unauthorized people from stopping within town limits.
Mantoloking, New JerseyOrrin Pilkey (pictured above), professor emeritus at Duke University, has written 40 books in which he issues steady warnings of the dangers a shoreline must bring under the pressure of climate change. At a time when everyone seems to be using military terminology to describe our battle against the attacking ocean, he has a term of his own: retreat. "The storms will only get worse as the seas rise and grow hotter," he says.
Mantoloking, New JerseyOnce someone's home, a structure slopes gently towards the sea. Rebuilding efforts are under way all across the Jersey Shore. Homes must be built on stilts to be insured–a costly endeavor, at $100,000. Many will decide it's worth it.
Seaside Heights, New JerseyAfter Hurricane Sandy hit the coast, the pier and roller coaster were destroyed in the town made famous by Snookie and the TV show Jersey Shore.
Sea Bright, New JerseyThe town of Seabright, New Jersey, had built a sea wall to protect local structures long before Sandy hit. But the storm was so powerful it breached the wall and destroyed more than 40 beach cabanas.
Rockaway Park, New YorkA vendor selling St. Patrick's Day merchandise rolls his wares through a neighborhood in Rockaway Park that was destroyed by flooding and fires caused by Hurricane Sandy. The Rockaways were among the hardest hit locations during the storm.
Rodanthe, North CarolinaLarge sandbags and sand-pumping equipment were left behind on North Carolina's Outer Banks in the wake of Sandy. Local residents continue to battle shrinking shorelines and damage from hurricanes.
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