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.
Five years ago people piled onto the Sea Bright municipal parking lot to get and give help in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.
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!”
Woody’s Ocean Grille owner and Sea Bright Rising creator Chris Wood has earned a place in documentary history.
The Fair Havenite and Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate won a Telly award for his part in a documentary on Sea Bright Rising and the non-profit’s partnership with the St. Bernard Project.
Wood, or Woody, as he is more widely recognized, thanked “Sean Moran, Viacom, MTV and VH1 for doing such a great job documenting Sea Bright Rising and our partnership with the St Bernard Project,” in a post on his Facebook wall about the award, which he said was a surprise to him on Thursday night.
Wood started Sea Bright Rising in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Surviving the storm better than most in Sea Bright, a small strip of a then near-flattened peninsula town, he and his head chef, Onofrio Moscato, started flipping burgers on a grill in the municipal lot next to the restaurant to feed whoever they could.
What started out as a bite to eat and a little comfort quickly turned into three meals a day, clothing, toiletries, incidentals, a U.S. Air Force tent under which cooking was done and then the National Guard rolled in on official duty to help. The effort grew to fundraising to fix Sandy-ravaged homes under the monicker of Sea Bright Rising.
To date, Sea Bright Rising has raised more than $1.3 million and distributed more than $1 million of it to 300 families and 18 businesses in Sea Bright, according to its website.
By Elaine Van Develde
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.