A very sad day for the roller coasting community has intertwined into the center of one of the largest storms to ever hit the United States of America. Hurricane Sandy has devastated the entire east coast and slammed the economic center of not only the country but of the world. Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the state of New Jersey, which is home to many of the Northeast’s amusement piers. One of those piers has sadly been completely destroyed along with the rides that were on the pier.
According to an article in the Star Ledger, The Seaside Heights amusement pier received significant damage over night as Sandy made landfall. Evidence of how bad the damage was could not be seen until the sun began to rise early this morning. The Star Jet roller coaster was found sitting in the ocean as the pier that once stood on was now completely washed away. Evidence of the battered pier was found washed up 500 yards inland. There are also reports of a log flume and other attractions being swept away or damaged as well. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey said in a statement, “the state of New Jersey has lost a remarkable landmark as well as a huge piece of tourism business.”
The Star Jet roller coaster was built in 2002 by the E&F Miller Company and had become a staple for tourists and locals walking the Seaside Heights Casino. Many confuse this coaster with the one that was there before, however the name for that coaster was Jet Star. After Jet Star was scrapped and taken down in 2000, plans for this new coaster arrived and excited the locals and tourist who frequented this part of New Jersey. The coaster has a height of 52 feet and is what many call a mobile steel coaster. One fan of the ride, in a statement to the Star Ledger, stated “The ride reminded him of going to a carnival. It really was like being a kid all over again.”
The Casino Pier where the amusement rides are located has been reported to have lost at least 50 feet of pier and things could be worse than expected. According to the Star Ledger, state inspectors and disaster managers will have the final numbers and estimation in the next few weeks. The northeastern part of the United States is in recovery mode and the loss of the Star Jet is just another sad part of the wrath of Sandy.