For many in Durham and Middlefield, summer just isn't summer without a trip to Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, RI.
And especially for many residents of southeastern Connecticut, trips to Misquamicut were a fixture of childhood, and its mere mention evokes memories of sandy feet squished together in the back of mom's station wagon, windows down, cool air warming sunburned skin while listening to pop songs on the radio.
Sure, there was the beach, but there was also so much else to do. The waterslide. Paddy's. The Andrea Hotel. Music at the Windjammer. Carnival Rides. Ice cream at Dusty's. Miniature golf. Sandy's Lighthouse. Fishing from Weekapaug Breachway. Rental houses up and down the side streets teeming with tourists having a great time.
Today, after the historic storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, Misquamicut Beach is a very different place, closer to a lunar landscape than a popular tourist attraction. Paddy's and the Windjammer are destroyed, as is the Andrea. Westerly Town Beach was washed away. Sandy's Lighthouse is heavily damaged. So are many of the rental houses.
Flooding is pervasive still, four days after the storm, and sand is piled 10 feet high. Crews are hard at work excavating what passes for Atlantic Avenue.
A number of media outlets have documented the devastation, which really needs no further commentary. Here are the videos and photo galleries that best document the destruction.
- VIDEO: Digging Out at Misquamicut Beach (Chris Walsh)
- VIDEO: Westerly Devastated By Hurricane Sandy (WJAR-10, Providence)
- VIDEO: Westerly Coping With Hurricane Destruction (WPRI-12, Providence)
- PHOTOS: The Day of New London, Aerial Pictures
- PHOTOS: The Day of New London, On The Ground Pictures
- PHOTOS: The Westerly Sun, Misquamicut Beach Damage Oct. 30
- PHOTOS: Providence Journal, Oct. 31 Southern Coastline Damage
Do you have memories of Misquamicut Beach? How does it make you feel to see the devastation?