yup good points Gaff. It's really bad that it takes these kind of disasters to bring global climate change to politicians forefronts and the mainstream news. it's happening people. whether we like it or not its happening and these are the events that will possibly happen in the near future with sea level rise being the worst and most potentially destructive thing in human history
my other comment is to those who say we shouldn't build on barrier islands as they aren't the only places that get affected by natural disasters........ natural disasters can strike anytime, any place.... i have chosen to live on a barrier island knowing i could lose everything. we've had storm damage and lost vehicles but have never collected insurance or any other monies from anywhere. we just rebuild and continue on...... how would everyone feel if they could no longer surf their favorite break because it was on a barrier island? no bridge to get there, no where to buy gas, no where to buy food, etc. look at a map and see just how much of the east coast is barrier island. just a thought.
Couldn't sympathize more with everyone in NJ, can't imagine what you're going through. As many have said, NJ/NY will rebuild and will come back strong. How some say that we shouldn't build on barrier islands is beyond me. If they feel that way, they should probably knock down the homes that burn down every year in California from the wildfires, tornado alley should be a ghost land, anywhere near a fault line is a no go etc etc you get my drift. Natural disasters obviously can't be controlled, but they can be prepared for to an extent. Again, we will rebuild and come back strong. Thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of this storm.
I have friends who lost homes in Breezy, Brick & Mantoloking. I've gathered stuff, as well as funds, to them from friends & associates down here.
Having said that...
Nobody would build on barrier islands were it not for the National Flood Insurance Plan passed by Congress in 1968. Prior to '68 you-the-coastal-homeowner took it in the shorts if a storm / flooding took your coastal house out. This was so because insurance carriers wouldn't insure you, or if they did offer insurance, the price was astronomical. So, there wasn't too much building of substantial structures along our coastlines.
Along comes the building industry. Primarily in Florida; the developers wanted to hit it hard, make major beans by building oceanfront digs for buyers, but, guess what, even if they built, no one would come because of.....you guessed it.....no insurance.
So, the building & developer corporations did what is so common in America.....hired big-time lobbyists to work the Congressional reps to pass laws to make federal flood insurance mandatory for homeowners who chose to build in flood plains & along coastal regions such as barrier islands. And, of course, Congress passes into law the NFIP in '68.
I'm not making this up. If you want to know anything about America?? Follow the money, man.
So, to this day, people can now obtain flood insurance for their homes, via federal law, in these regions that are prone to devastating storms. And that insurance is funded by.....ta'da.....taxpayer dollars. Yours & mine, kids. To the tune of .....ta'da.... $ 200 million PER YEAR. That number is from a Congressional study done in 2004.
I'm not criticizing or complaining. But this Sandy storm that took out all these unfortunate folks? It's gonna happen again & again & again & again. And you & I are gonna pay for it. Again & again & again & again.
Happens in the OBX basically every year or two, like tax dollar clockwork.
So, hey, you might want to light me up through the anon aspects of your Internet connection but I'm not heaping hurt on people who have lost their lives or who have lost their homes. Don't shoot the messenger, eh?
Just sayin.' When the heck does sound public policy in this, the most powerful, ostensibly most intelligent nation in the history of the planet, take precedent over the mammon mammon mammon??
My favorite break is on a barrier island that isn't inhabited by people and I'm fine with it. The closest house is about 15 minutes away. You drive over a bridge, pay $30 for your yearly pass and enjoy a beautiful beach and great waves.
Perhaps the $200M in tax dollars would be better spent for purchasing and placing in conservation these homesites to enable residents to live in a safer environment and nature to take its course.
Pretty interesting concept. Prepare for people to bomb it, tho. Every time this topic rears its head in the OBX, which is, like, annually, people get pretty wired pro & con about it.
The whole 'maintain the way of life' thing comes up pretty strong. The local politicians start barking about state needing tax dollars from the tourist revenues. No pol is gonna do anything that would p i s s off locals (voters).
Bottom line: as long as the federal money teat is available to be sucked on, then that's what's gonna happen. Take away federal money & take away the federally guaranteed flood / storm insurance & then the states would likely be doing exactly as you suggest: not re-building, no new construction and Atlantic Ocean barrier islands would return to being places such as, for example, Assateague. And what's wrong with that? Put the hotels & the condos & the houses inland. Everyone can still enjoy the coastline.
Anyways, we're just talking over the hot stove; it will likely never happen. We will continue to do, and pay for, the same stuff for generations to come.