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Ocean City was largely spared during last October's Superstorm Sandy, but perhaps the most striking image in the aftermath was the 200 plus feet of the century-old fishing pier that was torn off by hurricane force winds and massive waves.
Matt Giardina, whose family has operated the pier for decades, was part of a small crew of five men who rebuilt it for the past several months. He says ironically, the biggest hurdle in fixing the pier was the same thing that damaged it so severely: the weather.
"We had northeast winds for 20 consecutive days, but the guys pushed through, and we got it done three days before we were supposed to get it done," he says.
Mayor Rick Meehan called the pier the final piece of the puzzle to mark the town's full recovery from Sandy, as he cast the ceremonial first fishing line in the water.
Dozens of people waited at the gates to be the first to walk out onto the pier for the first time in 8 months, because for Giardina, and millions of others who will come to the beach this summer, the pier isn't just a great place to fish. It's the prettiest view in Ocean City.