It’s hard to believe that only 365 days have passed. Since then, everything has changed. Just one year ago, on October 29th, 2012, Hurricane Sandy plowed straight into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast like a battering ram. The tremors were felt all up and down our coast. A bizarre and savage hybrid of hurricane, winter storm, and pure, unadulterated rage, Sandy destroyed everything in her path. Everything except for our sense of community. In that regard, we had never been stronger. As news of destruction spread south to surfers on Sandy’s sweet side, who were still giddy from scoring all-time sessions, everyone stopped what they were doing and found a way to help out. And down in the trenches at ground zero, local surfers from New Jersey and New York summoned their courage and stepped up to become community leaders and heroes in the wake of the disaster. Helping hands fed the hungry, rebuilt homes and business, and lifted neighbors back up onto their feet.
But even 365 days after the storm rolled through, some things are still, alarmingly, the same. Despite the massive amounts of progress that has already been made, some boardwalks still remain in shambles, some families are still displaced, and many local economies remain off balance. But recovery from a disaster like Sandy isn’t the sort of thing you can assign an end date to. It’s an ongoing process. Chances are, communities affected by Sandy will always carry some scars. But with the continued help and support of the East Coast surf community, we can all make sure that those scars are reminders of great triumph over extreme adversity, not marks of defeat and despair. So, whatever you do in these next 365 days, please don’t forget about your East Coast brothers and sisters in Sandy-affected areas. They are still recovering, and they still need your help.