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Friday, October 31, 2014 | Last updated: 6:32am

After Hurricane Sandy, work still left to be done



Election coverage may have distracted news outlets from Hurricane Sandy, but parts of the East Coast are still picking up the pieces.

When people ask, I tell them I’m from Philadelphia. Located only 15 minutes from my house, the city associated with cheesesteaks and “Rocky” is far more desirable than the annoying question: “Wait, so have you been to the Jersey Shore?”

Yes, I have been to the Jersey Shore.

In fact, for as long as I can remember, my family has rented a house in Ocean City, N.J., for a week in August. That week, pleasantly known as beach week, has served as the setting for some of my most cherished childhood memories.

The Jersey Shore is a hotbed for family vacations, and while my vacation may be a bit noisier and more crowded than most, the majority of New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania natives have had similar experiences.

And like most other high school seniors in the state of New Jersey, I went down to the shore after senior prom. While that week may have been similar to the TV show, I can assure you that the majority of weeks in Jersey are not.

The Jersey Shore is a cultural center for the tri-state area (New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania) and it’s a place where anyone can take a day trip to enjoy the ocean.

Or it was.

After Hurricane Sandy blew through, sand filled the streets, the dunes were completely wiped out and the boardwalks took a beating. In Seaside Heights, a whole pier dropped off, leaving a roller coaster literally in the middle of the ocean.

Worst of all, a second storm system hit Wednesday. People were evacuated, but that doesn’t mean that their homes were preserved. The shores will probably be rebuilt, but they won’t be the same.

The beaches will have to be dredged in order to get them back to what they used to be. This means sticking a tube into the ocean to move sand from the ocean floor to the shoreline, and that means unhappy environmentalists.

But where the beaches were hit bad, so were the people. Houses have been destroyed or left without power, on top of the flooding and rain damage they may have incurred.

New Jersey and New York seem distant, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something to help.

It could be as simple as donating money to an organization that is working to rebuild homes on the coast, or sending clothes and other items through the American Red Cross.

We saw how polarized our nation was during election seasn. This is a time to unite as a country to support each other for the greater good.

When our country is united, it can accomplish anything, but that’s only if we don’t forget about these people because they’re far away or because the news outlets have stopped talking about them.

And when the shore has been restored, I invite all of you to come take a visit to the real Jersey Shore.

Although it won’t be the same after all that has happened, I can guarantee it’ll be better than “Snooki” and “Pauly D” portray it.

— Dan Desrochers is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @drdesrochers .


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