When it comes to Sandy, stories continue to surface from local musicians, businesses and industry people. Through the ordeals endured, they give us some scary detail of the damage and the insight of being grateful to have survived. This week, we continue with two Monmouth County residents who experienced harrowing times during the storm, and have returned to a place where things are leveling out. The physical storm may be over, but the overall experience will stay with them forever.
Lindsey Miller – The Sunday Blues
During Sandy, our roof started ripping off. We had a massive waterfall-like flood due to a combination of the water that sat dormant on the roof for years and the amount of storm rain. Through the 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. hours that night, we essentially moved all of our musical equipment out, saving most of it from the Niagara Falls flood coming down upon us, and then we evacuated at around 3 a.m. to Rick Barry’s [another Asbury Park musician] house due to the threat of falling debris.
You never think you will have a flood when you live on the TOP (third) floor of a particularly tall building, but stranger things have happened, I suppose. We did lose some personal belongings, but for the most part, have replaced them with our own money. We had FEMA come and take a look, but they said they could not help us.
We were displaced for a little over a month while our landlord fixed the roof, ceiling and replaced all of our hardwood flooring. There are still people without power and without homes. For us, life is pretty much back to as normal as it can be expected to be. We were able to move back into our home after all the work was done and resume finishing our record—which was recorded in our apartment pre-Sandy—City Folklore, which will be released Aug. 10, 2013. In hindsight, we feel very lucky to have gotten away with only material losses. We have seen the firsthand devastation that Sandy did to our community, and it stays with you always.
Bob [Pantella, Monster Magnet] and I decided that relocating my car was necessary when the town of Highlands sounded the warning. Hearing from neighbors and their stories of Hurricane Donna and not getting any damage from either that or Irene last year, I assumed my home would be fine. I left my two cats and all of my personal property just as they were, and Bob and I spent the night at his mother’s in Middletown. Power had already gone out in most coastal towns at this point. I received a call from my dad that a tree went through his roof, and my brother’s outbuildings blew into a neighbor’s yard. They both live in Middlesex County.
I sat under candlelight confident that my apartment was just fine. Even being a few blocks from the water, we thought we would escape the brunt of the destruction. Throughout the evening, we watched the streets line with police as every traffic light went out, and the sky lit with transformers exploding into the pitch-black night. We awoke the next morning and drove towards my house. All streets leading to Highlands were blocked by police, who were not allowing anyone to drive into town at that point. We had to park on Route 36 and walk down, only being allowed into town because I’m a resident and presented my driver’s license.
Bob and I walked down Shore Drive towards my house and saw many trees uprooted, but still didn’t see much to make us worry. We got to my house and debris was all along the fence of the property, and my garbage can had floated up on top of my deck. Bob wanted to enter the house first in case my cats were harmed. I walked in after him and immediately felt ruined.
I had two feet of water (lucky to have already raised my house two feet, or I would’ve had four), and everything was completely ruined. My cats were scared and wet. Everything had floated from the front of the house to the back section, destroying everything in the pathway. At this point, I had nowhere to put any of my belongings, so I bought two tarps and for the three months I was misplaced, I had to keep everything in the yard under those tarps.
I lost my bedding, my couches, kitchen appliances, my CDs and DVDs among many other things that can or can’t be replaced. For weeks, I had to show my ID just to enter the town. The sight and feel of the devastation in the town and all other towns affected was a lot to cope with. The sights still haunt my thoughts, and while the state is settling down and moving on, you never truly know the full extent of the pain unless you are a victim of something like this.
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