Thursday, September 12, 2013

CAN SEASIDE RECOVER FROM THIS LATEST BLOW?


They were knocked down - hard - following Hurricane Sandy. The business owners of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, NJ. They were just coming back. The Stronger than the Storm state summer tourism campaign helped some. But one business owner I interviewed for 1010 WINS says it was still down, about 50 percent. Still, he had been hoping that a steady local economic recovery - more repairs - more rides and businesses open next season - would mean things were going in the right direction. Then, this.

A fire, under the boardwalk. Under an ice cream shop. In Seaside Park. They say an employee tried to put it out first, before dialing 911. Would it have mattered had he not? Who knows? But Seaside Heights Police Chief Tommy Boyd says, it was the perfect combination for the perfect disaster. Thirty-five mile an hour winds out of the southeast. Buildings with tar roofs, much too close together for comfort. A wooden boardwalk.

It all ignited. And spread. Destroying some 20 stores. Along six blocks of the famed boardwalk.

Still, you've got to like the resiliency of many of the business owners. Like the the twin Marucca brothers, owners of the renowned Marucca's Pizza. Destroyed by Sandy. Rebuilt. Now gutted by this fire.

"We'll be back," they said in unison. "We can't go out like this," adds brother Joe.

More on the story from 1010 WINS.

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