|© Julio Cortez, AP|
I don't usually cover disasters here, but this will be a bit of an exception to the rule - mostly because the images of coaster destruction from New Jersey are so dramatic. Be sure that our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by Sandy, and that's what really matters: surviving and rebuilding. Coasters and parks are fun, and what we cover here, but we don't lose sight of what really matters.
Casino Pier, located in Seaside Heights, NJ, was largely destroyed in the storm. Previous sunny Summer days saw the pier looking like this:
But after Sandy rolled through it looks like this:
Funtown Pier, also in Seaside Heights, didn't fair so well either. The park lost a large portion of its boardwalk foundations, sending several rides into the water and sand below. One of them is the park's Looping Coaster, which can be seen crumpled on itself in the above photo. A story on the park can be found here.
Other seaside parks felt the wrath of the storm as well. Keansburg Amusement Park suffered significant damage, and owners had to search the town's streets to find pieces of their park according to this story. They've already vowed to rebuild and reopen this Summer.
Coney Island's amusements, mainly Luna Park and the Cyclone roller coaster fared the storm well, all things considered. It sounds like much of the damage is cosmetic, and there's plenty of sand throughout the park from the storm surge.
Rye Playland also had superficial damage from the storm, which looks like it will be fairly easily cleaned up. Some of the rides may have had damage done to their operating systems, due to interaction with the salt water, however.
Other parks, such as Morey's Piers and Jenkinson's Boardwalk, were hit, but appear to have avoided major destruction. That's not to say there's no work to be done, but it wasn't catastrophic.
Hopefully all parks affected will be able to rebuild, some have a much tougher journey ahead of them than others. Our best wishes go out to all of them.