It is a six month anniversary that will likely not feature any champagne toasts and certainly no gifts. 

Sandy damage in Mantoloking (Mario Tama, Getty Images)

It was a Monday six months ago when Sandy delivered a devastating blow to a good portion of New Jersey and whether you call her a hurricane or superstorm she laid down some serious smack on us here at the Jersey Shore.

For many she was nothing more than wind, rain and inconvenience. For others Sandy is the most miserable you-know-what they’ve ever dealt with in their lives.  As a matter of fact their lives have been turned upside down and the last six months have been a nightmare that they can’t wake up from.

Yes we want very hard to believe the Jersey Shore is coming back and there are many positive signs.  Boardwalks are being rebuilt; many businesses have re-opened and just about everyone and anyone associated with construction is busy.  Officials insist that beaches will be ready to welcome visitors and locals and there will be a summer tourism season, although frankly nobody knows what to expect during the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

However with that optimism comes the realization that you can still drive through areas in which it looks like the storm hit six days and not six months ago.  Houses that have been totally or partially destroyed, moved off their foundations and often re-located yards and even blocks away.  Roads that look like what you see on TV while watching war coverage.  Boats that went from one lagoon to another or one backyard to another.  Trees uprooted and lying on their side, sidewalks torn up and debris everywhere.

Dune reconstruction in Bay Head(Twitter)

Residents and property owners in places like Ortley Beach and Mantoloking are still having a tough time getting clear answers from officials, who too often have passed the buck to others.  It just seems that there is no one clear-cut government agency or office that has the answers and that’s resulted in many people taking a wait-and-see approach to cleanup and rebuilding.

It was six months ago today when a big storm did not miss us.  Maybe the biggest question is what will things be like in another six months and what do we do if another Sandy heads our way in between?