When I think of the Jersey Shore, I think of home. I don't think of MTV, fist pumping, or obnoxious people who aren't even from NJ who come down and get drunk and get arrested before they go back to wherever they came from. I think of salt air and ocean spray, sea gulls and boardwalks, french fries and porkroll egg and cheese sandwhiches. I think of sun tan lotion and hot sunshine, fisherman and boats, laughter and fun. I lived at the Jersey Shore until I went away to law school in 2004. All of my family still lives there. When I go there to visit I still say "I am coming home." So watching Irene hit NJ from the perspective of the media was a bit surreal.
In DC we had quite a bit of rain, some heavy wind, a few downed trees here and there, and some people lost power for a little bit. But nothing that I have seen in DC compares to the pictures from NJ.
(these pictures are from local newspapers, facebook friends, and family texted pictures - all slightly enhanced by me so you can see it better)
Ocean where roads use to be.
These are firemen in Manasquan, NJ, fighting a fire while waist deep in flood water.
Waves pounding on the fishing pier.
This one hurts - this was the boardwalk along Spring Lake, NJ, in front of the old Essex & Sussex Hotel (now a gorgeous retirement home).
Another shot of what remains of the Spring Lake boardwalk.
It was just washed away into the sea....
The ocean in Long Branch, NJ, rushing through the streets.
This is a building where my father works in East Windsor, NJ - the water is halfway up the first floor of the building. (And to the right is my dad's thumb).
And he had two feet of water in his actual office. (And there is my dad's thumb again. You can see that my great picture-taking-skills are genetic).
When it comes down to it though, these buildings and boardwalks are just "things", and can be easily rebuilt. I am thankful that no one I know was hurt.
My mother was celebrating her birthday in Jamaica and was suppose to fly back into Newark Airport on Sunday. Her flight was canceled, and now she has no idea when she can get back. She was put on a waiting list and was told that it might not be until Thursday or Friday. While I can think of worse places to be stranded, it isn't so great when you suddenly find yourself having to pay for an extra week of vacation!