The residents of Highlands, N.J. are boaters from way back, but they never expected to be boating through the streets of their town. Many are still fishermen and clammers, and many more come from families of fishermen and clammers, but nobody expected the devastation of from Hurricane Sandy, sending people into the boats in the street, not in Sandy Hook Bay, as usual.
One of the main concerns was the municipal marina, home to the large and small boats alike, and the heart of this uniquely nautical town. Special concern was for the marina that housed the famous Seastreak ferries to Manhattan. The commuters have come to rely on them, and getting back to normal, and back to work, was a priority for everyone. But for the time immediately after Sandy, boats were laying around on the land, like in a messy child's toybox.
The scenes were horrifying as residents watched the devastation, said after the fact to total $30-40 million in damages. The cute little restaurants and sweet boutiques scattered around this charming town were utterly destroyed.
Fifteen million dollars will be coming from the federal government to rebuild the marina, but the small businesses will have to work out their own arrangements with FEMA and their insurance companies.
The residents of the Highlands prepared as best they could, but no one could expect the devastation that ensued. Owners of smaller boats scrambled immediately prior the storm to get their boats to higher ground, but the larger boats either stay in the water all year long, or take a lot more time and effort to haul out. They were at the mercy of the wind and the waves, and those elements didn't show much mercy..
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