10 years later: Amateur photographer captures nature's fury before, after Superstorm Sandy

10 years ago today, the final warnings went out to towns all over New Jersey – it was time to evacuate before Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore. That included Belmar, which saw devastating impacts all over town.

News 12 Staff

Oct 28, 2022, 12:09 PM

Updated 628 days ago

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10 years ago today, the final warnings went out to towns all over New Jersey – it was time to evacuate before Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore. That included Belmar, which saw devastating impacts all over town. 
The day before the storm hit, the computer models kept showing New Jersey as a ground zero landfall point. Across the street, amateur photographer Bill McKim made sure he had plenty of batteries and SD cards to capture nature's fury. 
McKim started documenting the storm during the first high tide, and it was clear, this was not going to be anything he'd seen in his lifetime. Waves came up to the boardwalk, 12 hours before the devastating high tide, which matched the arrival of the storm surge, during a full moon. 
“I took pictures of the boardwalk, and I said, ‘it's never going to look like this again,’” says McKim. “There's no way this thing is going to last, it's going to be a totally changed town.”
The evening of the storm, McKim evacuated to Allenhurst, but came back at sunrise the next day, he saw what he said resembled zombies, people stunned walking around on a changed landscape. 
One of his most powerful memories happened a day or two after the storm when then Mayor Matt Doherty stood on his front lawn, overlooking the destruction, saying, "There will be a boardwalk here in time for next year's Memorial Day Holiday.” And there was. 



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