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It's detour city

Elizabeth Phillips was born in Newark, New Jersey but moved to Lavallette in 1974, where she was living at the time of Hurricane Sandy. She evacuated right before the storm, but she wasn’t able to return to her flooded home until three weeks later. In her narrative, she discusses challenges that are common to many on the shore struggling to recover, such as negotiating with insurance companies, applying for grants, and making sense of new building regulations. Continue Reading

The Upper Shores Library

June Schneider has worked for the Ocean County Library System since 1991. Currently she serves as Branch Manager of the Upper Shores Library in Lavallette and the Reading Center in Bay Head. A native of New York, she has lived on the Jersey Shore since 1986. Hurricane Sandy spared her home in Pine Beach, but it caused tremendous damage to the two branch libraries, resulting in them being closed for months. In her narrative, June speaks of how the storm has affected the libraries as well as the communities they serve. She also talks about the recovery efforts she has organized in collaboration with FEMA and the library system that earned her the ‘Grace under Pressure’ Award at her annual staff development day. Continue Reading

We are in the business of children

Lisa Hannah is the Principal and Director of Curriculum at Belmar Elementary School in Belmar, New Jersey. Although the school only lost electricity in the storm, the town itself faced devastation. As a school principal, Lisa Hannah became involved in the storm response and recovery to ensure all her students were safe and provided with necessary supplies. Beyond providing tangible supplies, Lisa Hannah also offered emotional support to help students recover from the trauma of the storm. Continue Reading

A local weather sensation

Bob “Weatherman” Burger is a longtime resident of Point Pleasant, New Jersey. After retiring from the Island Heights Police Department in the 1990s, he focused his energies on a long-time hobby: meteorology. He developed a Facebook page to provide local weather forecasts to Point Pleasant and surrounding communities. During Hurricane Sandy, thousands of citizens from the Jersey Shore relied heavily on for storm related information. A year after the storm, Burger discloses what it was like to be an unsung hero during a time of crisis. Continue Reading

One of the best things that's happened to me

Tyrone Green, born in London, England, has lived in Hoboken, New Jersey with his wife since 2002. Prior to Hurricane Sandy, he worked in finance for a bank in New York City. As a result of the hurricane and the devastation it inflicted on Hoboken, Tyrone became inspired to leave the financial world and go into business for himself. ‘Dark Side of the Moo,’ his food truck business that features wild game meat, now travels the streets of Hoboken and Jersey City looking for lunch customers. In Green’s narrative, he discusses his experiences during the storm, his change in careers, and the lingering effects the storm on his community. Continue Reading

My kids grew up here

Gina Carey-Smith is a college professor who lives in Florence, New Jersey. For seventeen years, she has owned a small, 400 square foot bungalow in Seaside Park, two blocks from the ocean and four blocks from the bay. Hurricane Sandy wiped out the little beach home, causing so much damage that it needed to be leveled and rebuilt. However, since it was considered a ‘second home,’ and since Gina owned the house but not the land on which it sat, she was both unable to have flood insurance and could not get help from FEMA. Unable to afford reconstruction, she was forced to sell for a fraction of its value. In this narrative, Gina talks about how has dealt with losing a summer home that held 14 years of childhood memories for her kids. Continue Reading

Where does a family of surfers go?

Krista Sperber is a graphic designer who lives with her family in Belmar, New Jersey. As a result of Hurricane Sandy, her home was submerged in salt water for seven days. Unfortunately that was just the start of their difficulties. For the past two years, Krista and her family have been struggling to receive any sort of compensation from insurance. Fortunately for them, the community has responded with generous support, and with the help of the Home for Summer program and the Saint Bernard project they are rebuilding their home. She is now working with the New Jersey Organizing Project, a network of people working to ensure that Sandy victims have a full and fair recovery. Continue Reading

Something that brings us together, as a community, in a weird way

Megan Miller is a special education teacher who works in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She and her husband (at the time fiancé) own a home in the Township of Brick. During Hurricane Sandy they acted as First Responders, assisting people and aiding in evacuations throughout Point Pleasant. The following day, they discovered that the storm had caused severe damage to their home. In her narrative, Meghan speaks of their actions during the storm, and the challenges they have faced in rebuilding their home. She also mentions her visit to the Ellen DeGeneres Show, in which she discovered that Ellen had generously agreed to help rebuild their home. Continue Reading

We didn't win the lottery

Lisa and Wayne Howell live in Branchburg, New Jersey, but like many New Jerseyans they have long spent much of their summers on the Jersey Shore. Since 1997, they have owned a summer home in Lavallette, just across the street from the bay. Flooding from Hurricane Sandy caused severe damage to their beach home and made nearly all their possessions unsalvageable. In its aftermath, the storm left them with a tough decision: fix their existing house and raise it, or knock it down and start anew. In this narrative, Lisa and Wayne discuss the tough choice they made, as well as their hopes of returning to Lavallette by July 2015. Continue Reading

The perspective of a renter

Patty Harth is a resident of Edison, New Jersey, and she lived in the state for more than half a century. Since her childhood, the shore has been her “summer home.” Like many New Jerseyans, she rents a property on the shore in the same place each summer, hers being in Toms River. Though she did not experience personal loss to property or possessions as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the storm nonetheless has had a tremendous impact on her life and the lives of her summer neighbors, many of whom are year-round residents. In her narrative, she speaks to this sense of loss, as well as to her thoughts regarding the future of the shore. Continue Reading