New Jersey encourages tourists to head back to the shore
New Jersey is trying to salvage what remains of the summer by getting the word out that the Jersey Shore is open for business and will be in full swing come this Labor Day weekend. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was traveling to Atlantic City and Lake Como on Monday "to remind residents and tourists that the Jersey Shore is a great place to visit following Hurricane Irene," according to a statement from the governor's office.
North Carolina's Beverly Perdue is also trying to get tourists back to the sand and surf and give Irene-battered businesses a much-needed boost in these waning days of summer.
Summer -- and the extended Labor Day weekend -- is often make-or-break time for businesses up and down the East Coast that rely on the thousands upon thousands of tourists to come to town, relax and open their wallets. Some businesses were able to capitalize on Irene, such as supermarkets and gas stations that did big business as people stockpiled supplies to weather the storm. But many other businesses not only lost a full week's worth of income, but suffered costly flooding or structural damage as well.
Hurricane Irene struck North Carolina as a hurricane but slowly lost power and was later downgraded to a tropical storm as it churned up the coast. It did far less damage than feared, but it still claimed more than 20 lives and caused up to $7 billion in damages. (Those figures could change as storm assessments continue.) About 5 million people also remain without power, according to the latest estimate.
-- Rene Lynch
On Twitter @renelynch
Photo: Robert Giovannetti of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection inspects sand dunes along the Jersey Shore for damage. Credit: Associated Press / Wayne Parry