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Lucy — whew! just another day at the beach

November 2, 2012

wind damage, old house

Big, bossy Hurricane Sandy blew through town.

I’m not even current on all the damage she caused because here we’ve only just had the power restored.  (200,000+ people  in the area still without power; MontCo and Bucks were hardest hit.)

However, I’ve managed to glimpse a few photos, including remarkable scenes showing  a twisted roller coaster  in the ocean, and a New York City subway platform, deserted, and  underwater.

Not long ago I wrote about my childhood “friend” Lucy the Margate Elephant and her 131st birthday.  She stands looking out to sea on the Jersey shore.  As I listened to Governor Christie talk about the flooding in Atlantic City, Lucy was much on my mind.  Would she survive the storm after standing beachside for more than a century already?  (Wondering how she was faring helped distract me from thinking about the giant oak tree leaning just outside my window in the blasting winds).

I was pleased to read a note from Executive Director Richard Helfant on Lucy’s Facebook feed.

Many have written in sending Lucy prayers and kind words during this unprecedented storm. Although we cannot return to the island yet to conduct a visual inspection, the Margate City Police Department is keeping a watchful eye on Lucy. As of now, we have had no reports of damage to the monument. Some things to keep in mind;

1. Lucy has weathered everything mother nature has sent her way for more than 131 years.

2. She is a stronger structure today than she was in 1962 during the March storm. Her main ‘superstructure’ is now steel; it was wood in 1962.

3. She is farther back from the shore line than she was in 1962.
4. Lucy’s Beach Grille building sits directly in front of her. It will bear the brunt of the wave action and serve as a barrier for Lucy.  Our thanks goes out to all of Lucy’s well wishers. Good luck and be safe.
Even more remarkably, the hurricane reportedly made landfall 5 miles south of Atlantic City — so Sandy was right in Lucy’s face!  Yet here she stands (in a photo posted to Facebook on Halloween).
The old gal is looking as if she got a brisk sand scrubbing, but overall, the reports are good.  Helfant said there was no structural or water damage, and only a minimal amount of water got in to Lucy’s feet. Fundraising is underway to make repairs elsewhere on the property.
I launched the First Annual “I Love Lucy [the Margate Elephant]”  Contest not long after my post about Lucy and her long history.  Click on and read the wonderful winning entry!
One Comment leave one →
  1. Paula Sagerman permalink
    February 3, 2013 2:39 pm

    Thanks for reporting on Lucy. She was one of my projects when I worked for the NJ Historic Trust in the mid 1990s, and I have been wondering about how she did during Sandy.

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