Devastation is the only word to describe what Hurricane Sandy has done to my community as well as many others. I'll stick to writing about the effects in my hometown, but my heart goes out to the rest of the East Coast that has also been directly hit by Sandy.
Today is day three of the schools in Cape May County being closed. There is still no entry to any of the barrier islands (Cape May, Wildwood, Ocean City, Avalon, Stone Harbor, and Sea Isle City). Fortunately, my family that remained on the island are all safe. No one can get to them, but they have plenty of food and water and some even have generators. I have other family members that headed the evacuation orders, but aren't allowed back home.
The 59th street pier in Ocean City is completely gone, as is a good portion of the Atlantic City Boardwalk. Many of the access roads to the islands, in addition to roads that connected the islands together have been torn apart and are no longer usable. Most of the homes in Reeds Beach, which is just down the street from me, are demolished and uninhabitable. The photos that are surfacing are heartbreaking. It will take months to fully recover from all of the damage done to our towns.
There are two million people in the state of New Jersey without power, and over 22,000 in my county. Most of these are individuals that live on the island. Those of us that live 15 minutes out on the mainland fared much better.
How has the hurricane directly affected me? My special needs daughter hasn't been able to go to school for three days, my roof lost more shingles, which means a new roof that I can't really afford, because our trash day was Tuesday, we are getting skipped this week altogether and I have family members that I can't visit because no one is allowed on the islands.
See the damage for yourself with these videos: