Pieces of the Asbury Park boardwalk were thrown onto Kingsley Street by the storm.
By DENISE HERSCHEL and ED SALVAS
The Jersey Shore took a direct hit from Superstorm Sandy 10 years ago on Oct. 29, 2012 when it roared ashore with up to 73 mph winds toppling trees, flooding streets and dumping tons of sand all along the beachfronts.
Although no longer classified as a hurricane at landfall it was still devastating to residents in this area. Sandy is the largest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record based on its storm force wind field.
Here is what residents recalled about the storm.
Ed Johnson, who was Asbury Park mayor at the time, said it was “an extraordinary 10 days,” Asbury Park officials gathered at City Hall on Nov. 13, 2012 to assess the damage from Superstorm Sandy. Garrett Giberson, the head of the Office of Emergency Management, was there and recalls the effort to return the city to normal.
Giberson still heads the OEM and this week said it could have been worse.
“Power was the big problem; we didn’t have enough generators,” he said. “We have since purchased new generators to keep key city offices running”.
“I saw the water moving down First Avenue and Sunset Avenue and at Sunset the lake overflowed and there were hundreds of fish and people were catching them and taking them home.”
He added that we should never underestimate the power of Mother Nature.
Johnson also recalled some tense moments when it became apparent there could be a failure at the Sewage Treatment Plant on the ocean with disastrous results. A quick thinking city employee was able to fix the problem.
At the time people were still cleaning up from Hurricane Irene in August of 2011 when Sandy hit and was followed by a nor’easter and a surprise snowstorm in early November.
Marge Edelson of Ocean Township said her power was out for seven days.
“My sister-in-law, who lives in West Allenhurst, had to come stay with us for the week,” she said. “We had a gas stove that we could use to cook on and she had no electricity at all. I remember we had to stand in line for hours at Wegmans to get ice. And we could charge a our smartphones there too. There was no where else to do it.”
Her husband, Paul, said it was the worst storm he had seen in a long time.
“There was tremendous tree damage,” he said. “I remember the 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane. I was seven years old at the time. The Asbury Park beachfront was destroyed. I grew up in Interlaken and all I remember was that you couldn’t go near the beach at all. That was also a really bad storm, like Sandy.
Norah Magrini of Avon, who lives three blocks from the beach, said, “I remember waiting all day for the storm to come. We all knew it was coming. I was on the phone with my sister when we lost power. We didn’t have a generator at the time but my husband was able to get one. It was so loud during the day with all the generators going. At night everyone would turn them off and it was dead silence. I know we lost power for about 10 days. At night we were guarded by the National Guard.”
Rose Letts, who lives in Shark River Hills, said, “My daughter wad three at the time and so scared. We had no power for 11 days. We live 3 blocks from the river. We didn’t flood here. It came up the street but not to my house.
:”I remember the Cracker Barrel was under water. There was the bow of a boat which went into the front picture of someone’s house. The Shark River Yacht Club was destroyed.
“I worked in a doctor’s office at the time and a patient who lived in Avon told me she had so much water in her house that she had to go to the top floor of her house. Her refrigerator had floated up to the second floor of her home with the water pushing it up to the floorboards of the second floor.
“I hope we never see another storm like Sandy again. Very scary times.”