Living at Sea Level

The local height of the surge from Sandy was one inch over our first floor which is about ten feet above Mean Lower Low Water.  We’ve lived here on Stockton Lake for 25 years and sea level has never been closer.  Let’s hope this storm was a truly perfect one and its likes are not seen soon.  I fear this may be the new normal.

The only reason I can see why we suffered as little damage as we did was our elevation. Our house was built just after World War II on a bit of relative high ground left over from an old inlet.  For this reason there are other old homes in the neighborhood.  Two lots away is a 1905 gem and a late 19th Century house around the corner was just demolished for some shiny new thing.

A block away are home after home that have their lives out on the curb.  I haven’t been up to the beach yet as access is limited to homeowners and contractors.  Our good friends the Mountfords lost their 1880’s beachfront cottage and many treasures. It’s all so very very sad.

Here are a few pics from our house and the neighborhood:

Big timber
During the 1992 Northeaster we had water just up to the foundation.  Sandy was 32 inches higher.

A bit of beauty
This was the first pic I took post Sandy. The red is thousands of Holly berries. You’d think the squirrels would be happy as they like to eat them but no. They’re back in the Holly, munching away on the remaining ones.

New dock?
This ended up on my neighbor’s driveway knocking down a usually storm proof black cherry. That knocked down a red cedar that had been growing since it showed up as a volunteer twenty years ago. Oh well, the view’s been opened up and that pleases my brother.

Brother Bob
Speaking of which: Brother Bob to the rescue. He drove down from Maine the Friday after the storm with a generator, gas, fine food and his usual good cheer.

High water mark
The surge reached the fourth course of shingles. (About three months old.) We were very, very lucky.

It will be a while before we all return to our “carnival life by the shore”. In the meantime please give to your favorite charity; there’s an Atlantic of sadness here.


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