Seven months later, progress continues to restore the shore in time for summer

By Maria Pansulla
About six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, displacing oceanfront homeowners, destroying the wooden panels of the Seaside boardwalk, and as a nonprofit research group recently discovered, spilling billions of gallons of sewage into waterways.
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   After months of rigorous repair, many recovery projects have been successfully completed. A portion of the Seaside Heights boardwalk has been opened to the public, and according to The New York Daily News, workers recently dismantled Jet Star, the roller coaster left stranded in the ocean after  the storm pushed it from the beach.
“The ‘restore the shore’ effort has been great in many ways, whether it was funds raised during the Bon Jovi concert in the winter or people taking trips to the shore in the spring to help rebuild,” said junior Gina Jadelis, whose family’s summer house in Chadwick was flooded by the  storm.
While scars from the storm damage are still apparent, many of Seaside’s popular restaurants, stores, and arcades have been renovated and are now ready for the summer tourist season, though some of the rides that have attracted generations of beachgoers remain dismantled across the street from the boardwalk.
“I thought it looked great for only being seven months later,” said senior Briana Lolo, who visited Seaside the weekend of June 1. “The boardwalk was almost fully restored with new wood, and the only thing that seemed to be missing were the rides. If everything continues as is, Seaside will have a bright future.”
Despite Seaside’s progress, many accommodations, concessions, and rides are inaccessible or damaged beyond repair in other shore towns, such as Long Branch. Visitors to Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, will have to use portable toilets because of damage to the park’s sewage-treatment system. Beaches themselves remain inaccessible in parts of Bay Head, Mantoloking, and Lavallette where replenishment work will continue through the summer.
President Barack Obama and  Governor Chris Christie have been involved in overseeing recovery efforts. Both politicians have made several trips to the Jersey Shore, most recently on May 28 to Asbury Park.
“There’s still so much that needs to get done, but with the help of federal funding, things can only get better,” said Jadelis.
See page 3 for photos and more information.