September 5, 2013
August 2013 - Manasquan, NJ
You never know how someone is going to react when they lose everything, but an educated guess suggests that most would find the experience traumatic. But people surprise you, like Rita Gurry did. Rita is one of three homeowners we are working with on the Jersey Shore, and I’ve written about her before (see my earlier post below). After Super Storm Sandy hit the Jersey coast her house was a total loss; we took it down with an excavator this past April.
Don’t get me wrong, Rita was pretty devastated when she saw what Sandy did to her house. “It was as if somebody just came in and blew my life apart,” she recalled calmly sitting next to me on the Glimmer Glass, a tidal inlet near her home. It was a somber conversation.
But the remarkable thing about Rita is what she did next. About ten minutes after seeing her devastated, flooded house she decided to rebuild. “Higher, newer, better…with a big front porch” she told me with a smile.
That’s what you do when you’re a half-glass-full kind of gal.
We'll feature a video showing Rita's story—and more like hers—in the weeks to come, before the premiere of the new season of This Old House.
(5) CommentsComment on this Blog
Thanks so much for the new blog and for dedicating several episodes of the new season of This Old House to following the Jersey shore as the resilient people there rebuild from the rubble of Hurricane Sandy. It would be nice if you could also note in a program or blog piece that as the rebuilding takes place, there's no reprieve from disaster. Today a huge fire broke out in Seaside Park and has consumed about 80 percent of the newly rebuilt boardwalk.
I'm greatly disappointed that This Old House is actually endorsing the folly of rebuilding along floodplains by sanctioning reconstruction on your programs.
You should be ashamed of yourselves. Where are your environmental sensibilities and skills?
Born in New Jersey to a family that spent many summers on the shore, I'm horrified, disgusted to learn that taxpayers are paying for raising and reconstructing homes along fragile dune areas.
Did no one learn from this environmental disaster? These homes should never have been built in these areas and should certainly never be rebuilt or elevated in the same environmentally fragile areas. .
The entire floodplain/dune area should be cleared of all homes and then be returned to its former natural state to become a beautiful, natural park that all can enjoy.
For no more cost to taxpayers, and probably far less, homes could be taken by eminent domain, homeowners compensated fully and then assisted to move and/or rebuild in environmentally acceptable areas.
Why am I paying for perpetuating this endless folly of building along fragile coastal areas... and then paying again for it again down the road when the next storm hits.
It's time that This Old House stop and listen to Mother Nature...!!
how come you never mention who pays for the cost of rebuilding on the coast?
in fact you rarely mention Money. Eps 3 had expensive pilings raising houses.
who paid for it? I presume the taxpayers are on the hook again- You never mention who pays for raising the houses. it is irresponsible to throw money at projects without mentioning the most important detail- COST!,,
I totally agree I'm sorry she lost her house - but people shouldn't be building on a piece of land 4 football fields wide (today's show) Guess who pays for millionaires to live on the ocean? ARe we tax payers going to have to pay again the next time there is a superstorm? and there will be. This old house is doing a dis service. I actually heard them say " No solild ground here " chuckle, chuckle, then you shouldn't be building there. I totally agree with Mac. I hope more people write maybe their facebook page would be a good spot
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After Sandy I sent an email suggesting that you consider a show on post-Sandy repairs and rebuilds. I did not get any response.
For my curiosity did that have any effect on your decision to follow the three NJ houses?
Shoreline erosion and construction specialist
NC Sea Grant
University of NC-Wilmington Center for Marine Science