Jersey Strong – Our GMU Guest Blogger Reflects on Hurricane Sandy

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Tri-State area on the 29th of October, our guest blogger shares what the event means to her.

There is nothing more depressing watching as your hometown is torn apart while you sit in your dorm room hours away.

Hurricane Sandy recently struck my hometown, Margate, NJ.  The storm hit the shore in full force and, in the blink of an eye, everything I grew up slowly seemed gone. To some, it may just seem like childhood memories, but my entire life consisted of beaches, boardwalks, amusement rides, and salt water taffy, all of which were swept away by Hurricane Sandy.

The first log flume I ever rode on is now damaged. The boardwalk I walked on every summer since I was old enough to walk, has broken apart. The small boutiques and coffee shops I spent my weekends in are now wiped away.

The ocean has completely overtaken the beaches that I used to lounge on for days at a time. It was where I laughed, relaxed, read magazines, played horseshoes, and went on leisurely walks. Mansfield Avenue beach was my second home.

From the small bubble that is George Mason, it is hard to see the true impact of Hurricane Sandy. The full extent of Sandy has not sunk in yet, no matter how many times I see it on YouTube or the news.

Students celebrated over the fact that classes were canceled for two days. Some saw it as Mother Nature’s excuse to catch up on some rest and watch movie marathons. When it was all over, Mason suffered no real damage.

Everyone seems to be complaining about what an inconvenience Hurricane Sandy was – having to catch up on work or have make-up days at the end of the semester. However, very few seem to see the real damage it has done to my home state.

I wish I could make people understand how important the Jersey Shore is to me. I wish they could hear the waves along the beach and witness the crowds that flocked to the boardwalks and casinos. Then, maybe, people would understand what was lost.

Thankfully, my family members are safe and my property suffered minimal damage, compared to many families along the coastline who lost completely everything.

Despite it all, I am confident that my hometown will be rebuilt. Even though thousands may still be without power, the clean up has begun. There are shelters at various schools in the area, donation boxes, relief funds, and multiple fundraisers, such as, “Save the 609.” Jettylife.com is selling T-shirt’s in an effort to aid those suffering to UNITE & REBUILD!  Profits from the sales will go to victims of the storm who are in direct need of assistance as well as the emergency response units who risked their lives to save others (Check out: http://jettylife.com/store/Shop_item.php?id=1059&cat=1&sub=0 for more info).

I would give anything to go back home and help. Getting daily phone calls, emails, and Facebook invites to help is inspiring.

I have no doubt that will recover, because we are ‘Jersey Strong.’

Written by Guest Blogger, Melissa G. of George Mason University

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