SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J.—People have come from hundreds of miles away to see it, sneaking past the yellow caution tape and heavy police guard onto a closed beach still littered with jagged pieces of debris four months after Superstorm Sandy nearly swept away this tiny oceanfront town.
The Jet Star roller coaster, sucked from the Casino Pier amusement park into the Atlantic Ocean by the storm, has become an iconic image of the horror and destruction left in Sandy’s wake. There’s something hauntingly beautiful about the sight of a roller coaster submerged in the sea—the strange way its frame reflects off the water in the early morning light and how the waves expand and retract around it, as if it had been built there in the first place.
As Casino Pier finalizes plans to finally begin removing it from the ocean in coming days, the Jet Star, for many here, is a sad, if beautiful, reminder of everything Sandy has taken away in a city struggling to fight its way back.
“You look out there, and you just want to cry,” said Kathie Kirckof, a Seaside Heights resident who lost everything when her beachside home in nearby Ortley Beach was flooded by the storm. “So many memories, just gone. All people want is just to feel normal again, yet it’s really anything but that here. It just feels eerie.”
I wrote about Seaside Heights, four months after Sandy (via Yahoo News)