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Sandy One Year Later – Dennis Malloy Remembers

Dennis Malloy shares his thoughts about the one year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.

Homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Point Pleasant
Homes damaged by Superstorm Sandy in Point Pleasant (Dennis Malloy, Townsquare Media NJ)

 

Sign in Point Pleasant following Superstorm Sandy
Sign in Point Pleasant following Superstorm Sandy (Dennis Malloy, Townsquare Media NJ)

With hurricane Irene, the shore was spared for the most part, but inland the damage was pretty severe.  So with Hurricane Sandy on the way, we were very much prepared for the worst where I live.  But nothing happened.  Sure a couple of big trees fell down, power was out for a few hours, but quickly returned by late morning.  I live 42 miles inland.

Our friends at the shore lived a world away.  I remember my friend who owns a restaurant in Pt. Pleasant asking me if we had gas, “Are the gas stations open, are there long lines”?  I said, “Sure, why”?  He told me about the chaos that was unfolding around the shore area, and it was in stark contrast to what I woke up to less than an hour drive away.

By the time I got into work listening to the radio station I realized how devastating it was “down the shore”.   We took calls and heard some amazing stories of devastation, survival, kindness, bravery, and terror.   It was one of those truly American moments, that after a tragedy, the best of people shines through.  Sure there were some bad actors out there, but they were completely dwarfed and overshadowed by the true kindness and generosity that poured out after the storm.

For weeks and months after, people thanked us at the radio station, just for being there. For so many people without power days and weeks, we were their only contact with the outside world.  A few days later came the weekend and the world was still divided by the devastation at the shore and the relative unscathed landscape a few miles inland.

Sand piled along the steet in Point Pleasant
Sand piled along the steet in Point Pleasant (Dennis Malloy, Townsquare Media NJ)

That Saturday I drove to Pt. Pleasant to help clean up my friends business and make food to bring to a shelter.  On the way there I saw the dividing line between chaos and calm.  It was at the Wawa on Route 70 and Route 539 in Whiting.  That’s where I saw my first gas line, people who looked displaced and exhausted but a great feeling of camaraderie too.

From there to Pt. Pleasant you could start seeing more of the effects.  The traffic lights on Route. 88 were out, and people still managed not to kill each other!  Guys on the side of the road were selling generators.  Stores were empty and parking lots were staging areas for volunteers.  It was surreal.

By the time I got to Point, the National Guard was blocking the road just before my friends’ place.  I got through, went and helped clean up, prepared some food and went down into Bay Head to volunteer and see the damage.  Your immediately struck by the sheer raw power of nature.

Sand piled up like snow drifts over curbs and against houses and cars.  One hundred year old houses ripped away like popsicle sticks on the beach.   Jetties exposed that no one in town even knew existed.  Here are a few pictures from that day.

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