The 'Neverending Story' of Superstorm Sandy

PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- In theory, divorcing emotion from one's investment decisions is a sound approach. You do the research, consider the options, monitor fluctuations, assess the risk and let the empirical data guide you.

In practice, it's nearly impossible.

A year removed from Superstorm Sandy, homeowners and residents who spent much of the last year trying to piece together the lives they lived before the storm might be finding it a bit difficult to approach their recent bout of hardship armed only with logic. I'd lived in some of the New Jersey areas most affected by the storm for nearly 30 years. Though my wife and I had settled into our new home in Portland months before, my thoughts and as many minutes as my New Jersey family's waning cell phone batteries would allow were firmly in Jersey.

From the '80s through the early 2000s, my stepfather worked at a Fed Ex terminal in the Meadowlands marsh town Moonachie, N.J., as a courier before returning as a manager. The morning after Sandy hit, boats patrolled the streets of Moonachie looking for stranded residents.

My mother has been a teacher in Lyndhurst, N.J., for several years. The day after Sandy cleared out, her students who lived near the Passic River on one side of town and the Hackensack River and Meadowlands on the other had been evacuated and power to much of the town was lost.

For three generations, our family had spent our summers at Ocean Beach, a three-neighborhood collection of cottages along Barnegat Island on the Jersey Shore. Just south of Point Pleasant and just north of Seaside Heights, Ocean Beach was almost equidistant from the boardwalks that bore the brunt of the storm's damage. When images of the Jet-Star roller coaster in the waters just off its former home on Morey Pier in Seaside Heights made their way to across the country, it seemed imminent that bad news would arrive from Ocean Beach as well. Dispatches including pictures of construction equipment scraping mounds of sand off Route 35, boats washed far from their moorings into backyards and houses either hollowed out, carried off or toppled over confirmed the worst.