Driving onto Long Beach Island in New Jersey, the first thing you'll see are boats where they shouldn't be, a deserted highway, and the National Guard.
For fear of looting, police, the media and cleanup crews are some of the select few allowed on the island. where the damage isn't measured in homes but neighborhoods.
One woman, who didn't want to give her name, told 69 News that there is no water for those who stay.
"We have no electric, no gas. It's sporadic all over the place," said the woman, who has lived there for 40 years.
Beach home walls are now windows to the sea. Sand sits everywhere. Debris litters deserted streets, and a boat now docks in Joe Carmelengo's driveway.
"We are leaving tomorrow. All the food is bad. The refrigerator is out. We have to get rid of it," he said.
A blue home on the beach now leans after being ripped right off it stilts.
69 News photojournalist Albert Castro's family owns a home on Long Beach Island, a half-block from the beach.
"Windows are not shattered. Still in one piece," he told his wife on the phone. "Wow! So far, so good on the inside.'
Outside of some basement flooding, the home made it through. It's a small win on an island badly beaten.