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By Experience

All that history just washed away

Mike Carbone is a resident of Toms River, New Jersey, and is the bar manager at the Beachcomber Bar and Grill in Seaside Heights. During Hurricane Sandy, his father kept the business open, until eventually the flooding forced the business to close and the remaining patrons evacuated. The business sustained tremendous damage from the flooding that accompanied the storm, but the Carbone’s managed to reopen the following January. In his narrative, Mike talks about his experiences during the storm, the damage it did to his business, and the challenges he has faced not only from the hurricane but also to the fire that later ravaged the Funtown Pier. Continue Reading

We wanted to get the people out

Kyle Grace is a police officer and deputy emergency management coordinator in charge of operations in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. During Hurricane Sandy, he was the incident commander in charge of all tactical decisions being made throughout the storm and its immediate aftermath. In this capacity he helped to coordinate the response of the Fire Department, Police Department, Emergency Management, Public Works, and other municipal entities. In his narrative, he talks about coordinating the evacuation of Point Pleasant Beach prior to the storm, as well as the actions taken by first responders in the storm’s aftermath. Continue Reading

I'm lucky that I live in this town

Patricia Donahue lives in Toms River, New Jersey, and is executive director of the People’s Pantry Relief Center. After riding out Hurricane Sandy in her home, she went to a local shelter to check up on members of her community. She ended up taking the lead in developing the People’s Pantry, the first full-time relief center set up after the storm. In her narrative, she speaks of her experiences in helping with the recovery effort commends her community for the support it has provided to those affected. Continue Reading

Shore 2 Recover

Toni Pecunia lives in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, where she also manages a café. Hurricane Sandy left her home severely damaged and her business without electricity for about two weeks. Seeing the devastation that the storm inflicted on her community, she decided to found a non-profit organization, Shore 2 Recover, to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy. In her narrative, she speaks of her experiences during the storm, as well as the work of the relief organization she founded. Continue Reading

No, never in a million years

Courtney Chibbaro lives in South Seaside Park, New Jersey. After Hurricane Sandy, she became heavily involved in the recovery and rebuilding efforts in barrier island communities. Notably, she organized a “Christmas on the Island” party and gift-giving caravan that brought a bit of Christmas joy to people from Lavallette to Seaside. In her narrative, Courtney discusses challenges of recovery and rebuilding as well as the spirit of community that emerged after the storm. Continue Reading

We have a long way to go

William Mullen is a resident of Ortley Beach, New Jersey. For 33 years he worked as a social worker for the Monmouth County Division of Social Services. Hurricane Sandy completely destroyed his home as well as his car and nearly all of his possessions. The storm surge was so powerful that it sheared off half of his home, floated it more than 200 yards away, and deposited it on Route 35. In this narrative, he discusses the relief effort, as well as the challenges he has faced in rebuilding his home. Continue Reading

Nobody had ever seen anything like this

Steven Henry has worked for the Toms River Police Department for over 25 years. At the time of Hurricane Sandy, he served as the Incident Commander for all operations related to the storm. In this narrative, Steven recalls his experiences as the hurricane was taking place as well as in its immediate aftermath. Continue Reading

We have so many people to lean on

Angela and Daniel O’Cone are high school teachers living in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. They bought and renovated a new home less than a year before Hurricane Sandy caused severe damage to it. While trying to rebuild, they faced many challenges in attempting to claim their losses from insurance companies. Luckily they had the support of their friends and family to help them every step of the way. Continue Reading

It really was like a movie, I swear

Aurora Silletti is a lifelong resident of the Jersey shore and owner of Ultimate Dance Studio in Toms River. Like many others, she and her family stayed in their home during the storm rather than evacuate. In its aftermath, they were displaced from their home for months and lived with family members while rebuilding. In this narrative, Aurora discusses her thoughts as the storm was taking place as well as the challenges they have faced in rebuilding. Continue Reading

The beauty of the storm

Mark and Lorraine Case are residents of Toms River, New Jersey who attended Saint Elisabeth Episcopal Chapel in Ortley Beach. The waterfront Chapel was a landmark in the town for 128 years, and it was completely destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Both Mark and Lorraine explain the tremendous loss their community faced after the storm, and share how their faith has helped them face challenges in the storm’s aftermath. Continue Reading