By Michael Hill
Frank Getz of Passaic tested the rough surf of Sandy Hook a day after attesting to its dangers.
“I know going in the water, right now, means playing with your life… She hurt me so you have to be very respectful. She tweaked my back a little bit,” he said.
Hurt is what Jersey Shore businesses are feeling this Labor Day weekend, typically the second busiest of the summer but a bummer because of Hermine.
Sandy Hook was open but with limited activities. A Verona family came to walk but couldn’t resist wading in the wiping waves out of view of lounging lifeguards.
Are their girls disappointed?
“No,” they said. “We are just surprised that our mom is on TV right now.”
What is it usually like on a holiday?
“Yes, you can barely step anywhere on the beach but on people,” said Verona resident Nadia Nedelcheva.
This is the exact opposite of what you would expect for Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer — a deserted Sandy Hook beach full of disappointment for some.
The Alves family are regulars here for sunning, swimming and strolling the beach but not while Hermine is stirring up the Atlantic Ocean.
Was today a disappointment at all?
“Yes it is but it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the weather, Mother Nature,” said Highlands resident Dulcidia Alves.
Park rangers allowed surfers in the water in conditions a lot less than ideal.
“Here you want the wind — well everywhere– you want the wind kind of to be off shore blowing into the water so the waves are glassier and more lined up. When it’s side shore like this out of north or south, or it has an onshore component out of the east, it kind of makes everything just crumble and close out. It’s like a washing machine like this,” said surfer Michael Connor.
“It’s a little bit rough. The north wind kind of makes it a little bit funky but it’s got some power behind it and it’s lined up enough to surf,” said surfer Travis Keenan.
On Sunday, Gov. Chris Christie ordered the reopening Sandy Hook. But, for two days it was void of vendors but not views — spectacular views of the remnants of a violent storm.
Brian Richards shoots 360-degree videos for his website.
On a scale of one to 10, what kind of pictures and video does the water offer today?
“I’d say a nine or close to a 10 I’d say. You know, you couldn’t get much better than this. It’s pretty dramatic,” Richards said.
A silver lining from a holiday weekend of storm warnings.