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Friday, November 2, 2012
Ocean City Awashed By Hurricane Sandy
While images online and on television are horrific, these disasters can hit home when you personally know someone who lost their lives or their property due to the ravages of Mother Nature.
Bruckner Chase, who developed the innovative Tao o le Tai program in Amerika Samoa, and his wife Michelle were scheduled to come out to tomorrow's Catalina Channel Swimming Federation banquet in California to accept recognition for Stuart Evans' 1959 crossing of the Catalina Channel.
However, Hurricane Sandy devastated their Ocean City (New Jersey) home this week and the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation festivities had to be put on hold for the husband-and-wife duo. "We lost our car and a lot of personal possessions, but the water has [finally] stopped just an inch from our front door. But we still have 2 feet of water in our laundry room and in our garage," explained Bruckner.
"Since we are on an island, the water recedes pretty quickly with the tide. By Tuesday morning, the water was out of our garage and just in the streets. The water stopped at our door threshold on Monday night at the peak tide during the storm's eye. Had the storm hit any later, the extra wind and surge would have pushed another 12" of water. As it stood, the water in front of our house was probably 4-5 feet deep, and this was the highest recorded tide in history."
On Tuesday, Bruckner reported the following via Facebook:
"While every block around us has power, we do not. We do not have heat or hot water either, but we have a fireplace, gas appliances and small propane, indoor heaters. We have not left the island and the bridges are still closed to non-essential [individuals] because they have concerns about overloading a damaged sewage plant. Bill Dorney had 2 feet of water in his first floor. Bill is the ocean mentor for so many of us, and his place is Team Dorney Headquarters. This continues to be a life-changing experience, and the effects on what and how we are looking at our lives center around the components that can not be inventoried for an insurance company.
There was fear in the uncertainty that existed even before Sandy, but with a more mindful approach to what is before us, I remain a bit more at peace.
As open water swimmers the most valuable skill any of us can bring with us into the ocean is a mindful awareness of ourselves and our place in this uncontrollable and unconquerable environment.
As both an ocean conservationist and endurance waterman, the last few days has seen an evolution in how I view my connection to the ocean. I am renewed in my commitment to share these experiences. The ocean will impact all of our lives, and we need to determine what we are going to do to make that impact and connection a positive one."
Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source
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