I think Hurricane Irene spoiled me a little bit. Last night Wildwood was still a ghost town, and mostly all the flooding had receded. The ocean had went back to its rightful place, leaving behind massive pools and puddles on the beach. The bay returned to normal and the wind dissipated. Irene left behind a chilly summer’s night I again had the island all to myself, cruising about on my bike, down the boardwalk which suffered minor damage and through the streets. Groups of people would pop up here and there and a pizza shop was open for business on Pacific Avenue. My house was untouched and the power never went out. For a hurricane Irene wasn’t nearly as bad as she could have been. However, let’s not underestimate her strength, for some people in North Carolina lost everything due to her. For them, Irene wasn’t all “just a bunch of hype.” One of those most powerful images that came from the storm was of the Stinson family sitting on steps surrounded by water where their now nonesxistant cottage once stood in Nags Head, North Carolina. Such a moving and heart stirring picture.
As for Wildwood, everything appears as normal. By midday I was sharing the island again, now having to stop and look both ways on my bike, dodging people and cars, but for a short time in the dead middle of summer, Irene let me have full reign over one of the places I treasure most on this earth. The Jersey shore was spared for the most part and I think we all learned something for the better through this experience. . . . that the next time there’s a hurricane, ride it out! (;