Nightly News   |  May 14, 2013

Prince Harry visits storm-torn Jersey Shore

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie introduced Prince Harry to some of the shore’s emergency workers who were the first responders after Hurricane Sandy hit. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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>>> finally tonight, we should be honest about this. during its life the old jet star roller coster on the peer in seaside heights , new jersey, was small, rick ety and harrowing and it died a lonely death. it's gone now, it was clawed apart and loaded on a barge in an effort to get the place up and open by memorial day . today's demolition weighted until a special visitor had left town. nbc's stephanie gosk reports tonight on prince harry 's visit to the jersey shore .

>> reporter: the new jersey crowd gathered early and broke out the union jack . [ cheers and applause ] not every day that british royalty drops in on seaside heights .

>> fantastic american spirit , everyone getting together and making things right. it's fantastic. really good. zblnlg new jersey governor chris christie introduced prince harry to some of the emergency workers , the first responders after sandy hit.

>> we were here from day one during the storm, we never left here and to see somebody come and recognize what we did and see our town as it's starting to rebuild and grow, it's great to see someone come that far to come see us.

>> reporter: the palace says prince harry made a point of coming here after meeting a new jersey native in afghanistan who lost his home in the storm. this was really a tour of two shores, seaside heights where progress is being made and nearby maniloking where the recovery has just begun. many feel the devastation never got the attention it deserved. visit from prince harry may help.

>> hopeful loi it will get things moving faster.

>> reporter: the boardwalk proved to the prince and everyone else it was back in business.

>> first prize right there.

>> oh my gosh, i never met a prince before, i don't know what to say.

>> reporter: much to the royal delight of two little girls.

>> you always think princes are like --

>> reporter: shining armor on a horse.

>> yeah, and he's really down-to-earth and just wanted to have fun with people, with us, so it was really nice.

>> reporter: wherever prince harry goes an international spotlight follows. for people here a royal visit also meant a welcome distraction. stephanie gosk, nbc news, seaside heights , new jersey.