Victims of Superstorm Sandy were dealing with tragedy all over again after New Jersey’s iconic Seaside Park boardwalk, whose post-disaster restoration had became a symbol of hope and renewal for the area, was destroyed by fire.
About 50 recently reopened beachfront shops and businesses were razed in a blaze that began on Thursday afternoon and is expected to continue smouldering for days, reducing owners and residents to shock just weeks after they had celebrated the attraction’s resurrection.
More than 500 firefighters worked “to exhaustion”, said state governor Chris Christie, to try to prevent the inferno from spreading along the wooden-decked boardwalk, even pumping water from the sea and hotel swimming pools. But 30mph winds fanned the flames out of control, levelling the boardwalk for the second time in a year.
In October last year, Superstorm Sandy killed 268 people in seven countries along its path and inflicted $65 billion (£40bn) of damage in the US, where it affected 24 states.