Let’s Get It On: Getting Back on LBI After Hurricane Sandy

We’ve all seen enough creepy arial footage of Long Beach Island post Sandy to let our imaginations run wild. We’re all in it together, but ultimately each of us wants to see how our personal little slice of our slice of heave fared. So the big question is, when? When can we get back on LBI?

Christie says “days”, Harvey Cedars Police Chief says “10 Days”, folks from Ship Bottom say “this weekend”. I think we all know “not tomorrow”.

While it was encouraging to see the bulldozers out there cleaning up North Beach before Hurricane Sandy had even really left today, there are bigger problems. Gas lines are reportedly broken and spewing natural gas, and the water is shut down. No gas, no sewage, in addition to some isolated power issues. Until the gas lines are repaired, I’m assuming the Causeway stays closed.

There is the possibility that different townships could open at different times, but this unlikely. It’s one bridge they have to open. Worse, Christie keeps speaking of “the Barrier Islands.” “We’re evacuating the Barrier Islands.” “The Barrier Islands are closed.” This suggests the possibility that we’ll have to wait for Christie to say “The Barrier Islands are Open”. This would be understandable, but a shame, if Long Beach Island residents had to wait for basic cleanup across the coast before we get a chance to deal with our own private hells.

The whole Shore thing has been elevated to the level of a national tragedy and even caught the attention of Obama who will visit tomorrow which might encourage the scenario where the coast is dealt with and re-opened as a whole. After all, it’s FEMA who’s stuck with the flood bill for the whole thing so maybe it is rightfully their call how much mold damage they want to pay for (more posts coming soon on the horrors of windstorm-flood insurance issues)

For now, I’ll say it will be a pleasant surprise if we can get on this weekend.

As you know, I’ll update you here the moment any information is available. Feel free to subscribe to Readings From the Northside on this page somewhere so you’ll get emails when updates are posted. The problem is you’ll then also get emails next summer when I post photos of sharks jumping out of the water, dolphins mating, and Osprey butchering bluefish, and of course, Mac Daddy drinking fresh water, next summer.

UPDATE: There are lots more updates about returning to the Island on the Readings’ Homepage