Sandy was here. What a week! 3

In my lifetime, I have ridden out many storms including Camille in 1969 and  Agnes in 1972. Living in Virginia, I remember pictures of farm animals floating down the James River. More recently, my Mother’s house had four feet of water in it when Hurricane Isabel came ashore in 2003 near the Hampton Roads. But none of those experiences prepared me for the devastation I have seen here in New Jersey since Monday afternoon, October 29th,2012 at 4:15 PM.

For 22 years, I have driven over the Mantoloking bridge to go surf fishing. For 22 years, I have sailed under this bridge. For 22 years, I assumed I would always be able to do this. And then Sandy struck.

Having friends in the Fire and Police Departments, I have heard first hand of their personal experiences rescuing people and pulling out the bodies of those who did not evacuate. Many of my employee’s have been without power for 6 days. In communities near the ocean, it could be another week or more before power is restored. Several of my employee’s lost everything, while others have evacuated to friends and relatives further inland.

The positive in all of this is the level of teamwork and community that has developed. Yes, there is looting and price gouging, but this is offset by the random acts of kindness. Almost everyone I have spoken with since Monday night when Sandy came ashore right down the street has a “how can I help” attitude. Many of those I have spoken with who are helping others are without power themselves, but they still feel fortunate and are out helping those who lost everything.

So I may not be able to travel over or under the bridge for quite a while. But there is plenty to do putting things back together and many new friends to do it with.