Despite what you've seen of the terrible destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy in the media last year (including that now-iconic photo of a drowned roller coaster), the Jersey Shore hasn't gone anywhere. But the perception that it was wiped away, according to a new poll, was strong enough to keep people away from the coastline this summer.
The poll, conducted by Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press, found that nearly 40 percent of Jersey residents spent less time at the shore than usual. Of those, half said they stayed away at least in part because they expected most businesses wouldn't be open.
"They made it sound on the news like the entire area was just wiped out and washed away," Dennis Behsman, a former Jersey Shore regular, told the Associated Press. But when he finally went to check it out for himself, he said things weren't nearly as bad as he'd been led to believe.
It's not that the area is completely out of the woods, writes the AP:
While many heavily damaged communities have made major strides, others are having a harder time. Destroyed buildings still need to be torn down, and many homes still standing need extensive renovations that are keeping their owners living elsewhere. Many need to be elevated to comply with new federal flood insurance regulations.
Still, the blow to its reputation could end up one of the trickiest things to repair.