Though there were many unforgettable images that were taken after superstorm Sandy, one of the most surreal was of the Seaside Heights, New Jersey roller coaster, sitting half submerged inside the Atlantic Ocean.
Photographer Stephen Wilkes, who’s best known for his NYC merged day and night photos, was commissioned by TIME, along with four other photographers, to capture Hurricane Sandy using Instagram. Soon after his project was complete, he felt a need to return back to those same areas and, for himself, document the aftermath.
And so, on Sunday, November 4th, he rented a helicopter and flew over some of the most hard struck areas, including the New Jersey shore where he shot these stunning images of The Star Jet roller coaster at Casino Pier amusement park. You can see more of Wilkes’s aerial photos at TIME and read his heartbreaking personal account of what he witnessed that day.
Here is an excerpt, “I've often found that there is great power in telling difficult stories in a beautiful way. Interest in any given story wanes so quickly, yet it's only through taking the time to go deeper that we get to a place of real understanding. I had to return to this story, and I wanted try to comprehend the scale of this storm. The only way for me to capture Sandy's destructive fury was from above.”
The art print shop 20×200 has collaborated with TIME in creating a fund for Hurricane Sandy relief. The net proceeds of the sale of the last photo in this post along with 11 others will go to six local charities that are all working directly on recovery efforts.
As Wilkes intended, these particular photos are incredibly beautiful yet tragic all at the same time.