It was six years ago when people piled onto the Sea Bright municipal parking lot to get and give help in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
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.
Five years ago people piled onto the Sea Bright municipal parking lot to get and give help in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
It was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz, with a wicked witch of a storm dropping a house on the spirits of Rumson-Fair Haven area locals. It was the scene of what many might call the Superstorm Sandy crime that devastated the Sea Bright peninsula and wiped out a decades-long iconic spot — Donovan’s Reef.
When the coast was literally clear of the storm’s wrath, locals flocked to the site to see what Sandy had spit out and left behind. They cried, reminisced, meditated on the jetty and gathered tiny scraps of memories made at the longtime RFHers’ hang-out.
The Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to Donovan’s in the aftermath of Sandy.
Laying on the ground were decades worth of remnants from a hut by the sea where many milestone memories were made. On the cusp of the iconic spot’s reopening, people wonder if the new and expanded hut by the sea will be a place to DO it again? Time will tell. Locals are poised for the fresh start. But, they always seem to look back on the good ol Donovan’s days.
What is your favorite Donovan’s memory from years gone by?
— Elaine Van Develde
— Photos/Elaine Van Develde
They were ready.
With the uncertain path of Hurricane Joaquin looming at the end of last week, the powers that be in Sea Bright, having been through the Sandy battle, prepared.
A makeshift wall of dunes was built along the shoreline of Sea Bright Public Beach and beyond to stave off stormy ocean water. And while Joaquin veered further east and out to sea, remnants of a nor’easter pelted the sands of the Sea Bright beaches and, as is common with any significant rainfall in the area, roads flooded.
Then the sun came out. And as temperatures hit the 70s today, dunes still intact, small-scale reminiscent of Mount Sandy, local summer lingerers headed to the beach.
Here’s what the scene was there. Beaching it tomorrow while the sun is out and temperatures permit?
(Be sure to click on the lower right icon to enlarge.)
— Elaine Van Develde
Fair Havenite and Sea Bright Woody’s Ocean Grille owner Chris Wood knows what havoc is wreaked by a superstorm hit.
He and his waterfront restaurant/bar weathered Sandy. Not only that, but Wood, a/k/a Woody, a longtime Rumson-Fair Haven area resident and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate, in the wake of Sandy started Sea Bright Rising in the Sea Bright municipal parking lot with a grill, some burgers and the help of his head chef Onofrio Moscato.
Looking back on his own Sandy experience, he offers, via a Facebook post, a calm-down perspective on Joaquin:
“As I look out my window right now at Woody’s I see the ocean and two news teams. Then I listen to those news people say, ‘Prepare for Joaquin’ or ‘Joaquin is barreling towards us.’ This is FAR from the truth.
“Unfortunately, we’re experiencing a very strong Nor Easter type storm (High pressure system meets Low pressure system coming up coast)…This is VERY common for us in Sea Bright.
“What is uncommon is the expected duration. (It may last 2 + days)……So unfortunately there will be some major beach erosion, high winds, rain and some coastal flooding. We’ve seen this before and yes it sucks…..
“But call it what it is and stop terrifying people by saying this is related to the Hurricane Joaquin. IT IS NOT. THANKFULLY it looks like that storm will pass.
“1: Hurricane Joaquin is STILL 1200 miles away as of 8am
2: The rain and wind we are experiencing now STILL has ZERO to do with Joaquin. (see above)
3: Joaquin has no similarities to Sandy at ALL…Thankfully NONE
4: The 5am National Hurricane Center has the eye drifting MUCH further East .The probability cone NOW has left front quadrant about 400 miles offshore…(this would be what impacts us if anything and it’s a weaker area of the storm)
5: The Front Right Quadrant is where the strongest winds and surge occur ….these will be HUNDERDS of miles to the East of NJ (this is one reason Sandy was so bad…we got the brunt of the front right quadrant along with lunar high tides)
6: Joaquin is not expected to be close to NJ until very early Monday. (still 4 days away)
7: The models STILL continue to trend East and we should have NO impact from Joaquin other than higher surf.
8: Time will tell and the models will probably change so watch NOAAs Hurricane Tracker and don’t believe all the hype.
9: Pray for the people in The Bahamas. They’re STILL getting hammered and will need help!”
With Joaquin winding its way northeast, Rumson-Fair Haven area residents are hoping it the predicted path will stay on course and not become reminiscent of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath.
Despite the lack of similarities in storms, officials area urging preparedness with a since-Sandy “better-be-safe-than-sorry” mindset.
So, as a reminder that we made it through the worst in a storm, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect is taking a look back at the post-Sandy scene in Rumson, Fair Haven and Sea Bright.
For the latest from the National Weather Service, click here.
— Elaine Van Develde
It’s the Fourth of July weekend and patriotism is in the air.
Flags are flying and the red, white and blue color theme is abundant. The same held true as people banded together in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Flags few amid a lot of wreckage.
Here’s one of them in our Retro Pic of the Day.
Remember this scene in downtown Sea Bright?
Our Retro Pic of the Day takes us back a couple of years to post-Hurricane Sandy days when Republican Gov. Chris Christie was endorsed by Democratic Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long and it was news.
A press conference was held at Woody’s in Sea Bright. Once it was over, the governor posed for photos with many people, including these two Rumson ladies.
We won’t tell you who they are. Do you know?
By Elaine Van Develde
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.
By Elaine Van Develde
Not only is Halloween approaching, but it’s also a historic time of the year for people in the Rumson-Fair Haven area — the second anniversary of Sandy, the superstorm that crippled the coast.
So, as Rumsonites ready for Halloween, it’s also hard to forget Sandy’s wrath. That was certainly scary enough.
Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect found few decorations in the borough. Take a look and alert us to more (firstname.lastname@example.org). In the meantime, notice one Shrewsbury Avenue resident’s creative take on the anniversary and Halloween combined.
Photos by Elaine Van Develde