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Sandy One Year Later – Bill Doyle Remembers

NOAA via Getty Images

On the night of October 29th, 2012 I got off the air as usual at 7 PM. I was listening to “Ask the Governor”as I drove east on I-195. I was headed toward the storm, which was just then making landfall at Brigantine. It was really, really windy; it was the strongest wind I had ever driven through. My car was being buffeted about by the wind, but I don’t want to make it sound too melodramatic because I never felt like I was in any danger. I got off at the Route 9 South exit and there wasn’t a light on to be seen; it was pretty creepy driving past all the darkened strip malls that populate both sides of the road. Based on that, I assumed my house would be out of power, too. I was wrong.

When I got home, my wife (whose birthday it was) and three kids were watching coverage of the hurricane (which at that point we still thought it was) indicating the satellite TV had surprisingly not gone out. My happiness with the power situation was short lived, however, as about an hour after I got home the power went out. I decided I didn’t want to try and mess with setting up the generator in the dark and rain, so I left it for the morning. By the time I got up the next day, the wind and rain had subsided, so I hooked up the refrigerator and TV and went to work.

The station was also on generator power and we had no usable phones in the building which obviously made it impossible to take any phone calls, so Jeff and I just read information from the Associated Press, because that machine was still working. The next day was when the fun really started as I went to get more gas for our generator; my quest over the next four days was to find a gas station that was open and didn’t have an ungodly long line.

My lasting image of Sandy is of the Wawa on Route 9 on that Saturday morning; it was going to open at 7, so I figured I would get there at 6:30 to beat everyone there. Wrong. By 6:30, the line for potential gas was already a mile and a half long with everyone waiting in the dark. I knew I didn’t have enough gas to wait in that line so I enlisted my wife’s help and we drove around different parts of town talking on our cell phones hunting for gas with a reasonable line which we finally found. I’ll always remember that line on Route 9, and we were the lucky ones.

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