Friday, September 13, 2013

TWF 221: Jersey Shore Boardwalk, Damaged by Sandy, is Ravaged by Flame

Hello, Freeport,

First of all, allow me to say that I'm not convinced, in tonight's loss of the Jets to the Patriots, that D'Brickashaw Ferguson actually threw a punch.  At the very least, I saw not one, but two Patriots draped on him, and I firmly believe he was simply trying to create separation.  I will need to watch replays, but I despise the Pats, so that will have to wait.  (No, I am not a Jets fan, and have not been since 2009)

On to the main event, and it's unfortunately tragic.

We're nearing the one year anniversary of Hurricane (or Superstorm; I remember it hitting as a Hurricane) Sandy's landing, the damage is still present throughout the tri-state area.  I think about one long-time friend of mine whose house remains nothing more than four walls with a wooden skeleton inside - and with no first floor, quite literally, so that you can see the basement's skeleton from where you stand.  It was ravaged by flood and fire, and a year later it remains completely uninhabitable.  I think back to my cousins, whose foundation was damaged and who have had a nightmare trying to get the proper funding to rebuild it to code.

Freeport is still heavily damaged.  It's easy for the lack of gas lines, the return of electricity, and the sands of time to play amnesia-food to our memories.  We remember Sandy, but we don't live it every day.  So many, however, still do.  So many still pay outrageous federal, state, and local taxes based on property values that are unsustainable, and without regard for the total losses they have suffered.  Our infrastructure remains not only damaged, but vulnerable, and unfortunately the fates have decided that we - speaking from a national stand-point, if not a local one - needed a reminder.

Blaze on the Boardwalk in Jersey

This image, obtained from, was taken today from the rather historic Funtown Pier in Seaside Park/Seaside Heights, New Jersey.  If you've heard that name before, it's possibly because of the nigh-legendary photographs of its roller coasters being swallowed up by the Atlantic Ocean during the storm.  This area was devastated less than a year ago, and in the face of an honestly well-executed rebuilding project, this inferno came and stole it away.

As reported by Breakingnews, attributed to @nbcnewyork, Governor Chris Christie has explained that damage from the "superstorm" still compromises the water supplies needed to actually put the flames out.  It's start location is fairly well known, as eye-witnesses have explained when they found the blaze.  But the actual cause?  That's a question, as it may have started under the boardwalk - a very, very unnerving sign.

Fortunately, nobody is reported dead or missing; firefighters have been treated for smoke inhalation, and the blaze has continued on into tonight...Well, more like today.  Continued on into today.  It's 12:30 AM.

I know our friends out in Colorado are also experiencing horrible disasters, with a massive flood sweeping through Boulder.  I know there's a lot of tragedies out there in the world, such as the ongoing civil war in Syria.  But, this one?  We New Yorkers are still suffering, and - with tragic results - are still vulnerable as a result of Sandy.

With Hurricane Season finally underway, quite late in the year for that sort of thing, we need to be prepared in case the worst should happen.  So far nothing is rumored to be ready to hit us, but you never, ever know with these things.  Moreover, we need to take a look around and ask ourselves, "what are we doing to address our town's long-term survival?  What are we doing to make our town safer?  What have we done to bring more resources home?"

Because even when you have an amazingly devoted rebuilding effort, sometimes the smallest spark can ignite a nightmare.  Let's remember them in their time of need, and all of our brothers and sisters across the nation and even the world, as well.