Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
By Elaine Van Develde
Generosity was overwhelming in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
When the call for help was sent out by the newly-created Sea Bright Rising, surrounding community organizations and just plain nice people, supply and clothing bins’ contents were almost spilling into the streets.
At one stop in Fair Haven, organizers had to ask people to stop giving.
When the Atlantic Ocean met the Shrewsbury River two years ago and obliterated Sea Bright, remnants of the superstorm named Sandy included everything from cars and torn up homes to furniture and jewelry.
On a side street in Sea Bright, among the debris, a flag was anchored in front of a devastated home, truck still in the driveway.
When the storm’s rage subsided, the Rumson-Fair Haven area was left literally powerless for nearly two weeks. Then the guys from Alabama Power rolled in to the rescue, quickly being dubbed Hurricane Sandy heroes.
In what seemed like effortless work to them, sorely needed electricity was on and humming away within a couple of days.
Area residents flocked to Fair Haven Fields to feed the crew and heap on the accolades. The Alabama guys met them with smiles and a great service that has gone unforgotten.
It was about this time two years ago that Woody’s Ocean Grille Owner Chris Wood and Head Chef Onofrio Muscato saw an immediate need to help the hungry, cold and displaced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
So, they just pulled out the grill and started flipping burgers, eggs and anything else they could to serve up some comfort to the superstorm’s victim. Before long, the U.S. Army National Guard was sent to set up camp and help. Word spread and soon there was a parking lot full of mess tents, food trucks, clothing bins and more.
Sea Bright Rising was born.
Two years later, Sea Bright Rising has brought in $1.3 million and distributed $1 million of it, Wood said recently. And the organization is not done yet. Many more of Sandy’s victims are still displaced and Sea Bright Rising wants to help.
Check out the non-profit’s website at seabrightrising.org.
Fair Haven was a luckier victim of Hurricane Sandy’s penchant for whipping up the floodwaters. But neither the dock nor the marina and little beach at the end of DeNormandie Avenue quite stood up to it.
The water level rose above decks and it’s stormy strength ripped up chunks of the borough’s iconic landmarks while it tossed debris all over the place in both spots.
It’s all been put back together since. But, this is what the area at the end of DeNormandie looked like then. Today’s weather brings a hint of it all back.
Remember what things looked like around town two years ago?
While the low-lying areas of Rumson were smacked the hardest by Hurricane Sandy, trees were felled all over town.
They brought wires down with them as they crashed onto various mainstay structures. Piping Rock Park, near the high school, was no exception.
Meanwhile, in the West Park section, no one could get in or out. But, from a distance one could see that the water and wind parked all sorts of debris from Sea Bright on Rumson land along the Shrewsbury River.
There were boats, cabanas and more. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Retro Pic of the Day devoted to looking back on Sandy.
It was two years ago that Sea Bright and low-lying parts of Rumson were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Even after the wind and rain stopped and the Shrewsbury River and ocean parted and drifted back to where they belonged, people were put out of their homes and there was no getting into or out of Sea Bright.
The U.S. Army’s National Guard was called in to help. Sea Bright residents lined up for a shuttle to take them for a small window of time to grab integral belongings from their ruined homes.
Rumson police and the guardsmen blocked the bridge and food, hot beverages were served as emergency clothing was doled out.
It was a surreal scene for all involved.
Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature Sandy photos for the next two weeks, until the lights came back on at the time in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.