Community Foundation of New Jersey

Hurricane Irene Hardly Forgotten

September 4, 2013

It’s been two years since Hurricane Irene made landfall in Atlantic County.  Fourteen months after Irene hit, Hurricane Sandy stole the show – leaving an indelible wake of damage in the Garden State and across the Eastern Seaboard.  While Sandy will not soon be forgotten, the Star-Ledger recently dubbed Irene “the forgotten storm” on the eve of her two-year anniversary.  As one of the costliest storms in U.S. history – causing $19 billion in damages and damaging nearly one million NJ homes and businesses – Hurricane Irene is hard to forget.  And for families still coping with loss, Irene’s anniversary is a time of solemn reflection.

Irene’s handiwork is still a present reality for some NJ neighborhoods like in Manville, where flooded homes are still uninhabitable and residents are left with few livable options.  In Sea Bright, some residents are still homeless and many businesses have yet to reopen.  As conversations continue on how best to rebuild NJ’s most vulnerable coastal areas, entire townships are faced with the possibility of “strategic retreat.”

Sandy may have upstaged Irene in terms of size and damages.  But for thousands of NJ residents still coping with the aftermath of Irene, forgetting is not an option.

To help support New Jersey’s rebuilding efforts, contact Hans Dekker at hdekker@cfnj.org.

Click here for the Star-Ledger article, “Hurricane Irene: New Jersey’s Forgotten Storm.”