Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     Offices     TCNJ Today

By Experience

In The Wake of The Storm

Gerald Meaney, a New Jersey native, was living in Point Pleasant at the time of Hurricane Sandy. He is a former captain of the EMS squad. During Hurricane Sandy he was a volunteer first responder for the Point Pleasant, Bay Head and Mantoloking area. In his narrative, he shares his experience in the wake of the storm.

A Faithful Encounter

Gertrude Fay Hudson has lived in Asbury Park since she was eight years old. Her interview took place at the Trinity Church soup kitchen, which she and her family have been members of for over 15 years. During Hurricane Sandy, having nowhere else to go when her apartment complex was evacuated, she stayed with her ex-husband.

A Thief in the Night

Susan Dietz has lived in Point Pleasant Beach with her husband for over 43 years. During Hurricane Sandy, her husband was out of town; she rode out the storm inside of her hilltop mansion with her daughter and two grandchildren. In her narrative, Susan discusses the unusual flood damages to her house that forced her family to leave the home they had lived in for 38 years and undergo a recovery process that is still not totally complete over a year after the storm. Susan also discusses how her humble work with the recovery efforts of her local fire department in the days after the storm shaped her perspective of the devastation.

People Just Want to Go Home

Margaret (D’Arcy) Greene is a Councilwoman for the Borough of Bay Head, New Jersey. After travelling back and forth between New York, Hong Kong, and New Jersey for many years, Greene and her family decided to make Bay Head their permanent residence, as summers at the shore had always been an integral part of their lives. In her narratives, she discuses the struggle to balance her family responsibilities and the recovery of her own home with her responsibility to her town and state in the aftermath of the storm.

“The Smallest Things Matter”

Jillian Apel is a resident of Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey, and one of the managers at Pluggy’s Too Deli & Subs in Union Beach. During Hurricane Sandy, Pluggy’s did not sustain any damage to their store and remained open during the days after the storm. In her narrative, Apel talks about her experiences with the customers at Pluggy’s after the storm and why Union Beach is so memorable to her and the community itself.

“We Escaped the Wrath of God”

Jimmy and Annie Karol are residents in both Oradell and Manahawkin, New Jersey. During Hurricane Sandy, their house in Manahawkin was completely devastated by the storm, with the entire first floor flooded, their boat in their next door’s neighbor, and their pool filled with their jet ski’s floating dock. In their narrative, they discuss the horrors of returning to their house and their recovery process.

“The Only Shining Light: The Volunteers”

Vera Pizzo is a resident of Long Branch, New Jersey and has lived in her family home for decades. During Hurricane Sandy, her house was desecrated by the storm, with the sewer waters and the creek just behind her house, overwhelming the inside of the house, causing it to be torn down. In her narrative, she talks about her experiences of being unemployed while trying to rebuild her house and all of the challenges that she confronted. From this, it seems that her work alongside the volunteers that came and worked on her house is the only thing still keeping her afloat to get back her family home.

A renewal in faith

Bob and Pamela Vazquez are residents of Union Beach, New Jersey. During Hurricane Sandy, they chose to stay in their home, with Pamela almost drowning twice from the storm surge. Their home sustained tremendous damage from the storm, and they are still struggling to recover. In their narrative, they describe how their experiences during the storm and the volunteer work they did after led them to embrace Christianity. They chose to be baptized in the Raritan Bay, the very body of water that ravaged their home during the storm.

Working for pizza

Meghan Michaux lives in Lavallette Beach, New Jersey, and since 2005 she has owned Meg’s Grill. She decided to ride out Hurricane Sandy in her beach house with her husband and two children, and while her home received no damage, her business was severely damaged. With the help of contractors and her employees, Meg’s Grill was one of the first businesses to reopen in Lavallette after Hurricane Sandy. Since then, Meg has continued to serve her community and is rooting for her fellow residents and business owners to come back to the shore as quickly as possible.

Let’s try it, see what we can do

Thomas Herrington is a Professor of Coastal Engineering and Director of the Ocean Engineering Program at Stevens Institute for Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. In his research, he focuses on coastal protection and long-term coastal stability. In his narrative, Thomas talks about his work since Hurricane Sandy, which has focused on strengthening the state’s response to hurricanes and other storm disasters, as well reducing its vulnerability in the long-term. He notes that the storm has created a renewed push for projects aimed at shoreline resiliency and sustainability.