For Good Reason: The ONE House on a NJ Beach Spared by Superstorm Sandy

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Superstorm Sandy hit the New Jersey shore  town of Mantoloking hard – 60 homes were demolished when waves crashed over the  sand dunes and swept into the small community.

The water washed away the road leading to Ed  Wright’s house and pummeled ten of his neighbors homes in a 200-foot  radius.

But Mr Wright house endured. It was the only  house in his neighborhood left standing by the ferocious storm and it sustained  only minor damage.

The New Jersey Star-Ledger calls Mr Wright’s house ‘the Mantoloking Miracle’ – but closer  examination reveals that the house remains standing because Mr Wright took  special care when building it and used design features meant to withstand a  hurricane.

Stranding alone: Mr Wright’s house was built atop dozens of pine pylons that were sunk deep into the sand
Home sweet home: Ed Wright looks around at the re-construction efforts from his house, which was largely undamaged by the storm

Now, FEMA and the town of Mantoloking are  studying the home and could make some elements of its construction mandatory for  all new houses that are built in the beach community.

‘The goal is to construct things that will  stay around awhile,’ Mr Wright told the Star-Ledger, ‘and hopefully outlive  you.’

Unlike his neighbors, Mr Wright elevated his  home and built it on top of 34 treated pine pylons that were driven 20 feet into  the sand. The first inhabited floor is eight feet above the beach.

And the walls in the ground floor, used as a  garage and for storage, were made to collapse easily under the force of waves –  saving the rest of the home.

Devastated: Ed Wright’s house, center, was surrounded on all sides by water after Superstorm Sandy breached the protective sand dunes in his community

Even the roof is designed with a hurricane in  mind – long and sloping it faces north to ‘shoulder the prevailing win,’ the  Star-Ledger reports.

When the storm came, the home did exactly  what is was supposed to.

The walls on the ground floor gave way and  allowed the water to wash around the pilings – leaving the living spaces of the  house mostly untouched.

While his neighbors homes were swept off  their foundations or blasted to splinters by the water from the storm, which hit  the New Jersey coast on October 29.

High water: A police boat patrols the water around Mr Wrights surviving house

Most of Mr Wright’s neighbors had only a  small crawlspace beneath their houses, which provided no protection against the  force of water.

While his neighbors lost everything, Inside  Mr Wright’s house it barely looked as though a storm had ever hit.

The refrigerator was ruined by water and a  few floorboards were damp. Houseplants had been toppled over and a few pictures  were knocked off the wall. Otherwise – the living space was untouched.

‘It was all in one piece, like we had just  gone to eat, as if we had just gone out,’ Mr Wright said.

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