Superstorm Sandy Wreaks Havoc

November 12, 2012
Storm Surge Destroys Lives and Recreation

Superstorm Sandy Brings the Ocean Home


Sandy and Athena have landed, killed, destroyed, and gone away again. The New Jersey coast will never be the same. Devout Smith Islanders once again learned the meaning of Act of God.

Somewhere in the mayhem there was a Presidential election, as well as a small earthquake.   Many witnessed the miracle of Governor Christie and President Obama inspecting ravaged shore together. Were politics momentarily set aside in the spirit of bipartisanship? Was the disaster exploited as a photograph opportunity for two very different leaders? One might be forgiven asking this, as weeks after Sandy’s winds died away, 150 thousand New York and New Jersey residents still have no electricity. Or was Sandy’s impact just that powerful? Did we just get our Katrina?

Mutineer's Descendent Dies on Bounty

Claudene Christian: lost with the HMS Bounty replica in Superstorm Sandy

Sandy sank the 180 foot replica of the HMS Bounty, and with her died Claudene Christian, the five-times great granddaughter of the original mutineer, Fletcher Christian. A man-o-war was the most complex man-made invention before the Industrial Revolution. Today, it might be a Smartphone. Ships and cell-towers both went down before Sandy’s might. How were we so unprepared?

On Smith Island, where my novel DEADRISE is set, the waters rushed in. The Rhodes Point Church and the Smith Island Baking Company were both flooded. (Anybody with a bad sweet-tooth might argue they are both houses of worship.)  If there is a bright side, owner Brian Murphy got the bakery up and running quick as possible.  And the bakery manager is about to have her first baby.  We can be grateful for these blessings.


Smith Island Sandy School

Smith Island Sunday School Flooded by Superstorm Sandy

Pastor Rick Edmund is looking after the Smith Island churches as best he can. Your donations for church repair would help delay the uncontrolled spiraling of the insurance premiums faced by the two hundred full-time residents of the island. These are beautiful and deeply significant buildings, and you’ll want to stop in when you visit Smith Island.

If you’re able and inclined, please give to

Smith Island Methodist Church

20847 Caleb Jones Road

Ewell, MD, 21824

For the general Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund, please click and give here:

If you have one extra dollar, or an extra coat or blanket, after Sandy, that officially makes you a jackpot winner.  Please share, and help those who have lost so much.