When Hurricane/Superstorm/MegaMess Sandy ravaged our coastline, we all saw the photos and videos of the immense damage.

So what does it look like one month later?

Unfortunately in the hardest hit areas, largely the same.

A group of local officials and Senators toured Toms River, Seaside, and Ortley Beach on November 26. This is the footage:

There's still sand and water where it never was before, homes looking like a pile of toothpicks, and a normally well-traveled area looking like a ghost town.

I remember back in December 2005 going to New Orleans with our sister station to do some post-Katrina charity work. I remember seeing the devastation in the Lower 9th Ward, and wondering how it was possible that 4 months later, it was still that bad.

I remember seeing the inspection markers on the houses, the water lines on the buildings, and the overwhelming smell of it all - mildew and sadness.

I couldn't fathom how that kind of destruction could happen or where to even begin to clean up.

Now I understand. There's SO much to do, so much garbage to haul away, so many roads that need to be cleared, and so many people that just don't have the means to do anything yet.

Baby steps. The sand IS being cleared, slowly but surely. The splinters formerly known as homes WILL be hauled away, and we will rebuild.

We can't forget that this is still reality. It isn't all better. It's still devastated. Keep volunteering, keep helping each other, and let's keep up the efforts to restore the shore.

How is the cleanup going where you are? Is it back to normal in your town? Tell us about it in the comment section below!