Thursday, August 25, 2011
Jersey Shore Reality, Not a Show
Whoa, now I am impressed.
Usually, I ignore hurricane hype on the East Coast for the media hysteria it usually is. But hang on here folks, this looks serious. The entire South Jersey seashore is being evacuated. At the height of the summer season. An estimated 750,000 people, including hordes of summer visitors, are expected to be fleeing the coast.
The evacuation order covers Cape May, the Wildwoods, the whole crowd-clogged Jersey shore all the way up past Atlantic City. All Atlantic County shore towns including Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport and Ocean City, are under a voluntary evacuation at 8 p.m. Thursday and a mandatory evacuation effective 6 a.m. Friday.
Cape May County -- that is, Cape May at the southern end of the Jersey Shore and the jam-packed Wildwoods just to the north -- is under a mandatory evacuation, with residents and visitors on the barrier islands being ordered to leave tonight and residents and visitors on the mainland being asked to leave starting at 8 a.m. Friday.
Assuming people remain safe (there are already awesome traffic jams), you can expect to see one great big aftershock on the Jersey Shore following this hurricane, if it hits as expected: Massive beach erosion on those delicate barrier islands, which have become impossibly highly developed since the last really big storm came that way.
Beach erosion on a scale that we haven't seen before. Literally for decades, coastal scientists have been warning that the Jersey Shore, especially on the barrier islands from Seaside Heights southward to Cape May, is perilously and recklessly overdeveloped on literally shifting sand.
Like, where did skinny little half-mile-wide Long Beach Island go? Where did all those mansions by the sea in Loveladies go?