Thank you for the photo of Belmar, N.J., and the corresponding article (C&EN, Nov. 19, 2012, page 10).
My in-laws live in Belmar. They made it through the storm without major damage, although their home is located within a block of the beach. The beach is now inaccessible; huge piles of sand, a broken boardwalk, nails, and wreckage make it too dangerous to walk on. A second row of piled sand blocks the view of and the path to the water from Ocean Avenue. Many homes are water-damaged. One I saw was burned from an electrical fire. Silver Lake is ruined; all the trees and shrubbery are gone. I didn’t see any swans or geese. Police are constantly patrolling to keep people out of dangerous areas and to prevent looting. It’s sad and surreal, but there is also opportunity, I guess, for those who have the means to rebuild or purchase. Many houses are for sale, including the house next door to my in-laws’ home.
Again, thank you for bringing attention to the national security issue, the New Jersey shore, and Belmar in particular.
Deborah Fox Walsh