Monday 11 December 2017

Atlantic City boardwalk swept away

People view the area where a 2000-foot section of the uptown boardwalk was destroyed by flooding in Atlantic City. Photo: Getty Images
People view the area where a 2000-foot section of the uptown boardwalk was destroyed by flooding in Atlantic City. Photo: Getty Images
People walk past debris in the area where the boardwalk was destroyed in Atlantic City. Photo: Getty Images

James Orr Atlantic City

Storm damaged cars, their bumpers ripped off, sat scattered in parking lots. Felled trees littered streets and sand, washed up from the beaches, lay three inches thick on the ashphalt.

Dawn broke flat and grey over Atlantic City yesterday to reveal a resort town in tatters. It was an eerie drive into the deserted, blacked-out city, the only lights visible, dim in the distance, the flashing blue and red of patrol vehicles, guarding block after block of empty, abandoned properties.

And at the coast itself, the most arresting sight of all -- Atlantic City's venerable old boardwalk smashed to pieces and deposited inland in tangled piles of lumber. Until Monday evening, it had stretched for some seven miles around the New Jersey shoreline. Not any more.

For Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy's assault on his fief was clearly personal: more than 5,500 New Jersey residents in local shelters and 2.4 million households without power.

"The level of devastation at the Jersey Shore is unthinkable," said Mr Christie after reviewing the damage.

"This is twice the number of impacted households as Hurricane Irene," he said, adding that every single one of New Jersey's railway lines had been damaged.

"Large sections of track were washed out on the coastline. Numerous power lines and trees have fallen along tracks."

Mercifully, no-one was killed. "We've had no injuries. We're very thankful," said Tom Foley, chief of Atlantic City's Emergency Medical Centre (EMC).

It seemed that most had heeded the warnings to evacuate, returning to survey the damage and salvage what remained.

Jitney Guy was looking over his storm-ravaged home, observing how his garage doors had been ripped open as the flood waters had surged forward.

"I evacuated on Monday," he said. "I was watching my house on the evening news.

"The water smashed over the sea wall and poured towards the house. Suddenly, there was no separation between the ocean and my yard." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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