SEASIDE HEIGHTS, N.J.-- Three months after a rare storm destroyed their piers, some of the rides that thrilled thousands of summer visitors still are sitting on the bottom of the ocean.
Casino Pier's Jet Star roller coaster -- a symbol of superstorm Sandy's devastation -- remains at sea, washed over daily by waves in the Atlantic.
But the twisted coaster is only one of the five rides that fell from the largely broken pier, with many still submerged. And a half-mile away, at FunTown Amusement Pier, 90 percent of the rides -- ranging from go-carts to roller coasters to the Himalaya rides -- are gone too, as are some 80 percent of the boards that made up pier.
Nearly each passing tide brings pieces of rides, props and boardwalk ashore. Watch the video above to learn which rides survived the storm.
But the return of Casino and FunTown won't be as quick. Though officials from each have vowed to rebuild, this summer at the Shore won't be the same.
"We do feel like we're moving along," said Toby Wolf, Casino Pier spokeswoman. "Obviously, right after the storm when we first saw everything, it was very overwhelming. It was trying to figure out where to start."
Casino Pier officials feel they could have a portion of their pier open for Memorial Day Weekend. FunTown Pier officials anticipate a 2014 re-opening instead.
Both piers have been welcoming families on their rides and through their attractions for several decades, but both represent more to the Jersey Shore than amusement parks.
They help make the Seaside Heights boardwalk a magnet to millions of people, whether drawing visitors fulfilling summer traditions or new customers. That helps further boost the local economy in the resort town that counts heavily on beach and parking revenue.
"They are like the box stores of a mall," said John Camera, borough administrator. "So everybody gets affected by what they do and what the borough does. They have their own draw."
Having fewer rides this summer will certainly have an impact, but Camera doesn't expect significant change.
Written by Kristi Funderburk, Asbury Park Press (APP.com)