Hurricane Sandy 2012

Dad and I occasionally work for an engineering company that provides contractors to power companies for storm damage assessment. We get called on short notice maybe 3-4 times a year but due to conflicting schedules we generally only get to work one storm a year. This year we were called a day before Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey to go to Deleware. Halfway there they called us and told us to continue to New Jersey. Once it was all said and done we ended up working 184 hours in 13 days patrolling power lines for Atlantic City Electric and Jersey Central Power & Light.



Long Beach Island
We spent three days on the 18 mile long Long Beach Island patrolling the eight circuits from the Ship Bottom substation. The flooding here was phenomenal. There was relatively little wind damage but major storm surge damage. The sand dunes were simply washed away and in places there were 3-4' of sand across the road. Everywhere I looked there were loaders loading dump trucks which would dump the sand back on the beach for bulldozers to spread out.

Long Beach Island
This is Carolina Avenue & South Bay Avenue at the very southern end of the island. When the storm surge washed the sand dunes away these houses were left standing on their pilings. Carpenters were busy bracing them as best they could so they wouldn't fall over.

Long Beach Island
We came across a buried car on Carolina Avenue. The windows were busted and the interior was full of sand. Pictures of this car were a nightly news clip on TV for a while.

Long Beach Island
There used to be a parking lot at the very southern end of the road. When I got there all the asphalt had been washed away and was simply a windswept beach.

Long Beach Island
This picture was from Holgate which is in the southern part of LBI. Probably 1/4 mile was a one lane road with sand piled up on either side.

Long Beach Island
The substation was towards the middle and widest part of the island, and that's where we worked out of. We were given a circuit map and we followed every inch of it starting at the sub station. The overhead infrastructure was in relatively good shape, but the underground stuff was a disaster. Entire pad mount transformers were swept away leaving a bare wire sticking out of the ground. Most houses had enough flooding to get water up into the meter box.

Long Beach Island
This was in North Beach which is towards the northern third of the island. Pictures of the shed also made the nightly news for a while.

Long Beach Island
The damage didn't seem to be quite as severe in the northern part of the island, but there was still a lot of sand. This picture was taken at Barbay Road and North Long Beach Road in Harvey Cedars. I later learned part of the reason for the disparity in damage was that the northern part of the island had extensive sand dunes while the southern part didn't want them because it would spoil the view. I suppose the southerners can admire the view from their soggy pile of debris.