The Big Wake-Up Call

Last summer, I went to visit my parents in my home state of New Jersey. Earlier in the year, the state’s coastal areas had been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy, a class 2 “superstorm” that inflicted approximately $68 billion in damage. Thousands of homes and businesses had been destroyed on the legendary Jersey Shore, which has an economy largely dependent on beach tourism. Months later, the state was beginning to rebuild.

I wanted to see how the reconstruction was getting along. We drove through town to the bridge that crosses a small river onto the barrier beach of Sea Bright, one of many towns that was battered by waves during the hurricane. Many homes and businesses in the town were still boarded up, and some beachfront ...

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