When Hurricane Sandy swept through Seaside Heights, N.J., earlier this week, it took down many of the town's iconic hangouts and attractions, including the ferris wheel and the Star Jet roller coaster. But at least one local landmark is still standing: the infamous beachfront pad that housed Snooki and her fellow Jersey Shore cast mates for four summers.
As new photos reveal, the Jersey Shore house appears to be mostly unharmed — from the outside, at least. But the Shore Store, where the cast was employed during the series' run, is another story.
Pictures of the clothing shop after Sandy show significant damage to both the surrounding property and the building itself. The rolling steel doors in front of the store have been bashed in by wind, and the section of boardwalk around it is in shambles. TMZ reports that the superstorm also caused severe water damage to a lot of the merchandise and equipment inside.
"Sandy devastated us," shop owner Danny Merk told ABC News from Florida, where he was helping his family run a chain of Halloween stores. Merk also owns the Jersey Shore house and several other properties in town.
"I saw some pictures people sent me. My store’s gates are crashed in. There's no boardwalk. I don't even understand how bad it is yet."
Merk, 32, added that the damage was especially devastating given the area's increasing popularity and prosperity in recent years.
"We were on such a high after the show," he explained. "We were the town on the rise, a freight train, a roller coaster. It's just a terrible thing."
He and his family are eager to rebuild, though. "We're going to buy supplies here in Florida and we're going to come there with plywood and drywall and attack it, do the best job we can possibly do," he said.
The Jersey Shore cast members are doing their part, too. All have called Merk to check in and are asking their followers on Twitter to donate to the Red Cross.
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