The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
Joined
·
26,321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Wayne Parry
Associated Press
Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:36 PM


SEA BRIGHT, N.J. -- Superstorm Sandy, one of the nation's costliest natural disasters, is giving new urgency to an age-old debate about whether areas repeatedly damaged by storms should be rebuilt, or whether it might be cheaper in the long run to buy out vulnerable properties and let nature reclaim them.

The difficulty in getting aid for storm victims through Congress -- most of a $60billion package could get final approval next week -- highlights hard choices that may have to be made soon across the country, where the federal, state and local governments all say they don't have unlimited resources to keep writing checks when storms strike.

But the idea of abandoning a place that has been home for years is unthinkable for many.

"We're not retreating," said Dina Long, mayor of Sea Bright, N.J. Sea Bright is a chronically flooded spit of sand between the Atlantic Ocean and the Shrewsbury River only slightly wider than the length of a football field in some spots. Three-quarters of its 1,400 residents are still homeless and the entire business district was wiped out. Only four shops have managed to reopen.

Despite a sea wall and pumping equipment in the center of town, Sea Bright floods repeatedly. It is the go-to spot for TV news trucks every time a storm roars up the coast.

Known for strength

"Nobody has come to us and said we shouldn't exist," Long said. "It is antithetical to the Jersey mindset, and particularly to the Sea Bright mindset. We're known for being strong, for being resilient, for not backing down."

The story is different in the Oakwood Beach section of Staten Island, N.Y. There, despite 20 years of flood protection measures, Sandy's 12- to 14-foot-storm surge inundated the community, forcing some residents to their attics or roofs to survive. Three people died.

"Building again and again in this very sensitive flood plain will only achieve the same results -- flooding, and possibly untimely death," homeowner Tina Downer told about 200 of her neighbors who gathered to discuss a potential buyout program last week. "It is not safe for anyone to live there."

The problem has worsened in recent decades with an explosion of development near the nation's shorelines. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that in 2003 about 153million people -- 53percent of the nation's population -- lived in coastal counties, an increase of 33million people since 1980. The agency forecasts 12million more to join them by 2015.

Fabric of communities

Jon Miller, a professor of coastal engineering at New Jersey's Stevens Institute of technology, said retreating from the most vulnerable areas makes scientific sense. But he adds that the things that were built there -- beach clubs, boardwalks and amusement piers -- give communities their character, and fuel tourism and business.

If buyouts did occur, he said, they would happen in areas with lower property values because of the high cost of buying up prime coastal real estate. That could have the unintended consequence of placing the shore off-limits to all but the wealthy, he said.


A 1988 Duke University shore protection study cited a nor'easter that occurred in Sea Bright four years earlier, causing $82million in damage -- about equal to the value of all the town's buildings at the time.

"Clearly the economics of this situation dictate that Sea Bright is not worthy of salvation, although politics and other considerations may decide otherwise," the study asserted.

Won't leave

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie considers strategic retreat from some storm-damaged areas on the table "in a broad way," but said he wants to leave the ultimate decisions to individual towns after giving them advice later this week on how to rebuild.

Part of a neighbor's home broke loose and smashed through the wall of Karen Finkelstein's Sea Bright home. She's still "shell-shocked" in Sandy's aftermath, but can't see herself leaving.

"I want to see us come back, but with precautions in place," she said. "You're taking a risk by choosing to live in this area. But when it's home to you, it's really hard to leave the familiar place where your roots are."
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
34,364 Posts
I really feel for these folks, and I was in NH when the storm hit. Coming out of there, headed home, I got to see some of the damage. I worked in New Orleans when it was underwater, and I saw the damage there as well. We have become a Nation dependent on our Government to feed us, clothe us, shelter us, and take care of our health needs. The Government wants this roll just as much as most of the folks that live in this Nation. In the past, if a storm tore your town apart, you moved on, or rebuilt. It was all on you. I ask, who is responsibe for your life? The Government? Or you? I say it is you. You are the person solely responsible for where you build you home. You are responsible for your health care, you are responsible for all the things we have handed over to our Government. If you want the Government to take care of you, and you can not take care of yourself, then you will wait untill the Government gets around to helping you.
 

·
*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
Joined
·
26,321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good Day to you, Sir...Your response on the abortion posting as well as this about the government, insures to me you a man of sound reasoning and logic...You recall a year or so back I had you carve a walking stick for my friend, the former IWO JIMA marine, Frank Densmore of Sun City....Denny was so proud of that stick and if I never got back and thanked you, I do so now...Frank is in a bad way..in the clutches of dementia/Alzheiemers so very badly that he wanders off...The relatives feel the end is near even though he eats well ...he sleeps most of the time...his wife says the cane had to be taken away and he scoots around on his walker...Chief
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top