Hurricane Sandy III

10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.30.12 ~ Eastern Point Beach

The picture above shows that the storm surge was still relatively high. There is a sidewalk just behind that white fence and the water never comes up to the top of the wall like it is in this picture. We were planning to make our way over there to snap even more pictures, but the police suddenly decided it was time to have all of us leave the area so the city workers could start operating their equipment to clean up the beach! If we had anticipated that happening we would have gone out there first off and worked our way back.  🙂

10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.30.12 ~ Eastern Point Beach

In this picture you can see that a portion of the white fence is missing (left of center), and a bit of the wall with some of its top missing. In the summer this stretch of sand is covered with mothers chatting under umbrellas, their children playing, blankets, towels, beach balls, shovels and buckets – I had my place among them – and senior citizens reclining, dozing or reading in deluxe beach loungers, enjoying their time in the sun…

10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
10.30.12 ~ Eastern Point Beach
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
men at work, collecting chunks of stone for the payloader to haul away
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
remnants of the wall
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
sand and rocks deposited in front of Zbierski House
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
many rocks landed in the playground
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
waves still crashing over breakwater, wall, ramp and stairs
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
debris rammed into corner of wall and parking lot
10.30.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
section of wall in the foreground moved across the sidewalk
10.30.12 ~ Eastern Point Beach

Although we were amazed to see the damage done by Superstorm Sandy here on our little part of the Connecticut shoreline, we know that New York and New Jersey had it far worse and our hearts go out to them. It is truly heartbreaking to see the TV footage of the devastation they are enduring while we sit in the comfort of our living room.

However, I have a hard time feeling much sympathy for the people in the wealthier beachfront areas of Connecticut. Many of their homes were destroyed in Hurricane Irene just last year and they foolishly rebuilt at the same locations, and were wiped out again this time.

Recently I read an article that referred to a “way of life that was based on a mindless materialism oblivious to nature and its boundaries.”* I think this is a case in point. Mother Nature is delivering us a strong message about where we should not be building our homes. Climatologists say we can expect more of these super storms in the near future and rising sea levels in general, due to global warming.

During the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, all the summer cottages and much of the land at Bluff Point, here in Groton, were swept away by the storm surge. Nobody rebuilt there. The newly formed peninsula became a state park. It seems like the most sensible response to such a loss. When will we stop stubbornly resisting the forces of nature and start trying to live in harmony with them?

*”Power of Nature” by Gitte Larsen, Søren Steen Olsen, and Steen Svendsen, Utne Reader, Nov-Dec 2012

25 thoughts on “Hurricane Sandy III”

  1. Great post Barbara. Your photo – #3675 -of the hole in the stone wall – shows just how powerful the sea must’ve been to knock those huge stones out of the wall like that.

    I wonder whether those folks who rebuilt their homes destroyed in Hurricane Irene, and whose homes were wiped out again, are going to rebuild in the same place yet again???

    Didn’t you find it interesting that so few commentators mentioned global warning?

    1. Thanks, Rosie! It was very sobering indeed seeing that wall partly ruined by such a tremendous force. From what I’ve been hearing on the news, although I’ve tapered off from watching it the past few days, it sounds like everyone wants to rebuild. I just don’t get it – I know I’d move farther inland if my home was destroyed or damaged by a storm surge. It seems that most folks are in some kind of denial, they just don’t want to see or accept what is happening…

  2. Great post Barbara! I’ve always wondered why we always try to fight Mother Nature. I don’t understand why in these areas that homes are always to be rebuilt if they have previously been washed away…

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I’m wondering right along with you – is it greediness, stubbornness, a sense of entitlement or invincibility perhaps? It just seems like common sense – it’s true that we cannot predict everything that might happen and be safe from anything that might occur, but I guess we are all comfortable with different levels of risk.

  3. My heart is sinking at the sight of the damage to what I imagine to be a beautiful area Barbara. Any chance of returning when the clean up is completed, to show us the beach in its post-storm glory?

    1. We go to our beach often, Joanne, year round, so yes! I will make a point of taking pictures so we can keep track of the progress made. I’m wondering if the city will repair the wall or replace it…

  4. Oh the waves are so wild! The storm has left the city in absolute mess. Its really sad for the dwellers. Hope the universe helps recover the damage soon.
    By the way, how is your auntie doing? Is she better?
    Do take care Barbara!

    1. Thank you, Sonali! Have you ever had a storm surge come up on your hometown beach?

      Auntie is doing much better. It’s wonderful the new things they have available – Auntie has trouble taking pills but now they have a pain patch which is placed on her skin. No more pills or injections for her! 🙂

  5. I will make sure we take pictures after the beach is restored to it’s former glory. This may take a while as the main beach usage is of course during the summer months, so they have about six or seven months to work with.

    1. It will be interesting to see the progression of the restoration efforts, and if it will look the same as it used to or if the city will take advantage of an opportunity to change some things around. I’m also curious to know if the houses sustained any damage. ♥

  6. Such a very powerful storm. I am glad that you are safe after it, but my heart hurts for those whose lives were affected. Blessings for all still facing Sandy’s consequences…

    1. How did your daughter make out in the storm, Kathy? I need to visit your blog soon and see if you’ve mentioned anything there. Larisa has yet to return from her vacation so I’m still wondering what she will find when she returns home…

      1. She made out fine, Barbara, thank you. They didn’t even lose power, although her work was out for a week. I think she went back to work today. Hope Larisa comes home to good news, too.

  7. It looks like a “Mothers’ Beach.” What a lovely place. I hope that everything is back in good order before next summer. I can’t imagine there won’t be things washing up or uncovered in the sand by the little ones playing there even that far into the future. I see New London Ledge Lighthouse! I spent many summers sailing by it or with it in view from the Thames River Yacht Club as my boys took sailing lessons on the river. I was so surprised to learn from your post that there were cottages at Bluff Point prior to the 1938 hurricane. I naively thought it was always a “natural” area – a park. Duh.

    It was so nice of sonalie to ask about your auntie. I, too, hope she is doing well!

    1. If what I am hearing is accurate, the city already decided not to return the sand to the beach because it is full of nails and glass and other debris that might pose a danger to little bare feet and the hands and knees of little digging sandcastle builders. 🙂 I guess they’ll import some fresh sand from somewhere…

      New London Ledge is a comforting landmark – another place we keep meaning to visit but haven’t yet! It’s funny you mentioned your boys’ sailing lessons – every time we go west over the Gold Star bridge Tim looks up the river to see the little white sails on the water.

      That 1938 hurricane was a humdinger, apparently the worst for New England since one in 1869. It left a very deep impression on my dad and my aunt…

      1. Sad about the sand, but understood. Safety first! Yup, those would have been the boys’ sails at one time. I had a neighbor in Clinton who had a home on Cedar Island that was swept out to the Sound in ’38. She and her husband lost everything. You’ve piqued my interest about the hurricane with your posts. I wonder if there’s a book … off to Google land!

        1. I bet eveyone of a certain age has a 1938 hurricane story to tell – I found this book at Amazon, which I’m thinking of getting, “Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938” by R.A. Scotti. Hope you find something good!

          1. Checking it out now – thanks, Barbara! At first glance, reviews include comments about how people thought it was “just a nor’easter” and how “Connecticut had no way of alerting Rhode Island.” Imagine the devastation caused by Sandy – but perhaps worse – with no advance warning and no TV, computers,cell phones, tweets, FB, email. I think I might get the book, too.

          2. Sounds like a good book, AA. I’ve added it to my wish list – I hope you’ll let me know what you think of it after you read it. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Tracy. I understand Fire Island National Seashore on Long Island is closed to the public for storm damage assessment – good thing there were no people living there…

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