We got wet feet

A fascinating capture of a partly submerged roller coaster at the Seaside Heights Boardwalk in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy on November 4th 2012 - photographed by Stephen Wilkes

A fascinating capture of a partly submerged roller coaster at the Seaside Heights Boardwalk in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy on November 4th 2012 – photographed by Stephen Wilkes

There are moments in journalism when the media captures the visual details of a disaster, yet sometimes misses the true scale of devastation. It was with that in mind that on Sunday, November 4th, I flew in a helicopter over a number of the most devastated areas hit by Superstorm Sandy. Specifically, the devastation in and around Seaside Heights, NJ, and in particular The Star Jet roller coaster at Casino Pier, which was now resting in the Atlantic Ocean.

As I flew over the area, the ocean appeared dead calm; there were no waves, the water looked as if I was in the Caribbean, not the Atlantic. That contrast in itself was surreal to experience, yet as we left the devastation below, I was reminded of the iconic image in the film Planet of The Apes. Charlton Heston, riding horseback along a deserted shoreline, suddenly sees a charred structure rising out of the water, the torch of the Statue of Liberty. In a strange way this image shares a parallel universe, perhaps a warning from post-apocalyptic Earth. – Stephen Wilkes

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We keep a distance

storm hurricane sandy weather tornado typhoon tropical east coast USA New York evacuation hurricane storm rain waves alert 2012 warning wind black and white photograph
Hurricane Sandy churned the Atlantic Ocean as it barreled northward bringing fierce winds, drenching rains and flooding to the nation’s Northeast, where officials warned residents to stay home and ordered those along coastlines to head to high ground.
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.
All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. Parts of the Southwest United States and the Pacific Coast also experience heavy rains and floods each year from hurricanes spawned off Mexico. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.
Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. Slow moving hurricanes traveling into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall.
Between 1970 and 1999, more people lost their lives from freshwater inland flooding associated with tropical cyclones than from any other weather hazard related to such storms.

We hope you stay safe..

photograph of a huge hurricane / unknown photographer