As a bicoastal high school student I travel back and forth between California and New Jersey frequently. Growing up, I spent many summers at the beach town of Margate, N.J., visiting my grandparents and playing on the beach, and over winter break I had the opportunity to go back to Margate to see the devastation caused by “Super-Storm Sandy.
Nearly three months after the storm hit, you could still see the damage caused.
Local resident Antonia Caruso says, “When living on a small island like Margate, the only way to get your medications is through CVS.”
Even with the help of multiple cleanup crews and fundraisers, locals predict that reconstruction will be slow and ongoing for many years.
Teacher and lifeguard Alfred Muskett says, “Not only is the community damaged physically, but the people are damaged mentally.”
Some of the most damaged areas in the town were the restaurants and docks along Margate’s bay.
“When there’s no place for the bay to release its water,” local Joanne Collace says. “The water comes up over the breakwater destroying all the buildings and docks along the bay.”
Lucy the Elephant is a historical Margate landmark—older than the statue of liberty—and was first made as a tourist attraction and hotel. After hurricane Sandy, Lucy was shut down for two weeks due to the loss of power and damages but she is still standing and was reopened on Nov. 10, 2012.
There has already been a tremendous progress made to reconstruct Margate, according to Margate Mayor Mike Becker.
“Over 3 million cubic feet of sand had to be put back in the beach,” Becker says. “The magnitude of the cleanup was beyond belief.”
Although progress is being made every day, there is still a tremendous amount of work needed to return this small beach town to how it once was.