It was the year that Halloween wasn’t. It was 2012 and Superstorm Sandy had pummeled the Jersey Shore. It decimated Sea Bright and destroyed low lying parts of Rumson. Fair Haven was a bit war torn and powerless.
Beach cabanas landed like Dorothy’s house to the Witch of the East on West Park lawns. Boats were hoisted by surging water onto dock tops and back yards. Gunning Island, in the Shrewsbury River, was loaded with the moored belongings of Sea Bright and Rumson people. Trees were downed. Transformers exploded.
Sea Bright residents were homeless. The beach was in the road. Sea Bright Rising began with some good-hearted burger flipping by Woody’s owner Chris Wood and chef Onofrio Moscato. The U.S. Army National Guard was parked in the Sea Bright municipal lot. There was no electricity.
There was a curfew. At nightfall, people scurried back into their homes, if there was anything left to go home to, like moles burrowing into cold, still night. Things were awfully dark. And Halloween was cancelled. There was no treat in Sandy’s trickery, just in the kindness of those who were good neighbors.
Take a look back … (and click to enlarge).
— Elaine Van Develde
Photos/Elaine Van Develde