Flames were burning all over the cut-off barrier island of Mantoloking, New Jersey on Wednesday morning, October 31, 2012 after severe devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. There was a large cluster of flames and smaller fires spread out from it, with some flames shooting directly out of the sand.
Authorities believed a gas main may have exploded and quickly spread across the island. The small town, which sits between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay, suffered severe damage during the storm.
Several homes were destroyed and continued to burn. It is still unclear how exactly were they destroyed. Firefighters could not reach the blaze due to storm damage on the roads leading to Mantoloking from the mainland. The exact size of the fire is still unclear.
“We can hear the gas lines hissing. That is the fear for the people here. They’ve been told by the fire department that one spark and this town could blow.”
There are also ruptured gas lines several miles to the south of Oyster Creek nuclear power plant located some 15 miles south of Mantoloking. Oyster Creek is one of four licensed nuclear power reactors in New Jersey. The others are the two units at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant, and the one unit at Hope Creek Nuclear Generating Station.
Besides ravaging beaches, the storm swept homes off their foundations in some coastal communities, wrecked some boardwalks and knocked amusement park rides from piers in Seaside Heights.
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