November 2, 2012

Sandy Leaves N.J. Reeling, N.Y. Life Gets Slow Restart



JEFFREY BROWN: The losses in life and property kept growing today in the wake of Sandy. The U.S. death toll reached 92 and the focus on physical damage shifted to New Jersey, where the monster storm blasted barrier islands and other waterside cities.

The massive force of the storm’s destruction along the JerseyShore came fully into view today. Town after town presented stark scenes of wrecked homes and boats, underscoring the long process of rebuilding that lies ahead.

One of those towns was the Long Beach community north of Atlantic City, where Army National Guard troops arrived to assist.

LT. ERIC SHAW, U.S. Army National Guard: A lot of devastation. The island was hit very hard. From what I understand, there is roughly 18,000 homes without power. There’s severe gas leaks. So right now, we are just trying to get everything together for the Office of Emergency Management Here and the different municipalities and just assist them with whatever needs they have going on.

JEFFREY BROWN: And even three days later, some Long Beach residents still could not believe the power of the storm.

WOMAN: This was the deepest water I have ever seen in my lifetime of being here. I was 11 in the ’62 storm and the water came an inch from our house. And this time it was a foot deep in our house.

JEFFREY BROWN: In Point Pleasant, the damaged boardwalk was a backdrop for workers who carried lumber and dug holes for new fencing. And shelters like this one at the BrigantineBeachCommunity Center were open for those searching for a place to stay.

MAN: Even though we don’t have any staff here, we have had incredible support from all the volunteers.

JEFFREY BROWN: To the north, in Hoboken, across from New York City, emergency and National Guard trucks moved through the flooded streets overnight. When Sandy hit, the storm surge on the Hudson River swamped a quarter of the city, leaving 20,000 people stranded in their homes and in the dark.

WOMAN: It’s really scary. We don’t have that much food. We prepared a little bit.

JEFFREY BROWN: For others across New Jersey, the loss of electricity meant no way to pump gas, which led to long lines at places where fuel was available.

WOMAN: An hour and 40 minutes almost. Crazy. I’m out of gas, though. I have less than a quarter tank, so I had to get out today.

JEFFREY BROWN: And Governor Chris Christie said today the storm also delivered an emotional blow. He spoke from the flooded of Moonachie.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, R-N.J.: There’s nothing more precious to people than their homes. Homes are where their families are, the memories and possessions of their lives. And there’s also a sense of safety to home.

And you feel like when you get in that place and you close that door, that there’s a sense of safety there. That sense of safety was violated on Monday, with water rushing into people’s homes at an enormous rate of speed and people having to literally swim, climb, jump for their lives.

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