Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bay Head, Nov. 17, 2012

This afternoon, I was granted special permission to enter Bay Head. As an artist who works in salvaged wood, this request to enter was a gift. I will be donating 10% of sales of any of these pieces to the Salvation Army, Red Cross and the animal shelters to offset the cost of the hurricane relief. 

The devastation was overwhelming and exhausting. Closest to town, the water entered the first floor of almost every home. In the garbage were people's lives in complete disarray. Photographs, paint cans, cabinets, sinks, dressers, mattresses, board games, toys, beach chairs, floor boards, installation and appliances were piled in polite stacks along side the road. 

As we drove nearer to the beach, the debris increased in size - bulkheads and pilings were the primary rubble. Some house never even were cleaned out because they are condemned and will be totaled. What I saw was like a war zone - a stair case had pushed its way through a house, collapsed first floors and toppled second floors, sand piles over 6 feet tall, garage doors that had burst internally with summer furniture swelling through, whole sides of houses leaning, a roof that had flown off and splattered across the street.

 I was careful and respectful not to photograph the overwhelming sadness of a community in ruins. It was a privilege that I was granted access. Tomorrow, I will be going to Sea Bright. Last weekend, I was in Monmouth Beach. I hope at some point, to be allowed into the other areas. Over this coming weekend, the found wood will be cleaned and sterilized. 

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