I lived in New Jersey from 1940 to 1963, when I went into the Air Force; I went home typically 2-3 times per year until 2006, when my Dad passed away. We lived in Little Silver in Monmouth County which is the northernmost county on the Jersey Shore; it is only a mile to Ft Monmouth from there.
We lived ~4 miles from the beaches of Sea Bright; the latter is a barrier beach. My Dad, born in 1913, had an aunt who lived north of Sea Bright whom he visited from his home in Newark, and he told me when I was maybe 10 that when he was a kid, that Sea Bright was ~half a mile wide and that there were corn fields in the part of Sea Bright where it was only ~1000 ft wide, the town center, in 1950. So, I learned at an early age that barrier beaches were ephemeral structures; those lessons solidified in my Geology 201 Physical Geology class in 1960.
I remember very well the November 1950 storm, made famous because it was like an East Coast Bomb, <bottom drops out of the pressure and the storm intensifies explosively as it crosses from North America to the Atlantic> and the meteorologists of the day realized that the “barotropic” numerical models, which moved storms along like chips of wood in a brook, failed to predict significant strengthening. This storm, and its importance, was featured in a text book by Hans Panofsky of Penn State, one of my profs when I was in Grad School there in 1968.
See the 100 mph wind speeds in NYC and New Jersey! Also see the hand- plotted and hand analyzed charts of the day; quite a difference from the cruder computer plotted and analyzed charts of today.
But what I remember best was the feet of sand in Bahlbach’s Restaurant in Keansburg, a block inland from Raritan Bay, and the 500-foot long freighter driven ¼ mile inland up Matawan Creek, sitting stranded in the woods. We lost power and were huddled around the fireplace with coats on, to cook and keep warm: this storm made quite the impression on me.
Look at this from the Asbury Park Press http://www.app.com/story/weather/stormwatch/2016/01/01/worst-storms-new-jersey/78036968/
It describes the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm and that 5 new inlets were cut into Long Beach Island then.
And look at those photos. Yes, it is costing an arm and a leg.
Please read the stories and see how Ocean City was forever changed when the winter storm of 1916 hit. “…without exception every inlet along the New Jersey coast has been formed, moved, closed up or reopened by northeasters during the past 200 years.”
”Rebuilding the Jersey Shore to handle storm surges, meanwhile, could require billions of dollars to replenish beaches swept away during superstorm Sandy, erect steel bulkheads at $3 million or more a pop, rebuild damaged seawalls, elevate thousands of homes on pilings, and buy out some neighborhoods. ”Making the New Jersey transit system more resilient to storms could cost $800 million, and putting electric lines underground could average $724,000 per mile.
Here is the story of the repeated damages
Arm and a Leg, indeed!