Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

W&L Alumna's Personal Reflections on Sandy's Destruction

One of the iconic images of Hurricane Sandy’s destructive force on the Jersey Shore is the photograph of a twisted, crumpled roller coaster in the Atlantic Ocean. That is the Casino Pier roller coaster in Seaside Heights, N.J. For one Washington and Lee alumna, the image is very personal, indeed.

Victoria Taylor’s family owns two amusement parks — Casino Pier, in Seaside Heights, and Jenkinson’s Boardwalk, in Point Pleasant Beach. Both were ravaged by the storm.

A member of Washington and Lee’s Class of 2011, Victoria is a freelancer at FoxNews.com, and she wrote about the family’s loss in a poignant piece for that website. You can read it here: Beloved Jersey Shore amusement park looks to rebuild after Sandy.

In her own words,

Luckily only the park was destroyed. My family made it through.

I wasn’t with them that day. I waited out the storm in Brooklyn, N.Y. where I live, and I was stuck in my virtually unaffected section of Williamsburg as I watched image after image come in of both boardwalks in ruins. I cannot stress enough how lucky I am that my family and friends are all safe and did not suffer incredible loss of personal property. Amusement piers and boardwalks can be repaired.

Victoria goes on to write that her family does indeed intend to rebuild, though the reconstruction of Jenkinson’s will be easier. In fact, she quoted her father, Ken Taylor, as saying there was never any question that they would rebuild: “This isn’t the first hurricane to ever hit the Jersey Shore. Everyone before us rebuilt. It’s bigger than just one family business. The boardwalks have provided people with entertainment for generations. It’s important to rebuild for future generations.”

We found Victoria’s FoxNews.com piece thanks to a timely tweet from Stephanie Hardiman Simon, of the Class of 2010. Both Stephanie and Victoria majored in journalism and mass communications. One way to follow the progress of the Jersey Shore’s comeback is to follow Victoria’s Twitter feed: @vic_taylor.

As she wrote in the story’s concluding paragraph: “Something that wasn’t washed away is hope. As cheesy as it sounds, hope is what is going to get us through this. The Jersey Shore I know and love will bounce back.”

If you know any W&L alumni who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.