Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Hometown #JerseyStrong

"Troubled times, they had come... to my hometown." -Bruce Springsteen

Most of the images you've seen from Sandy's impact in New Jersey have been from the shore. And rightfully so. The destruction is unimaginable. Gov. Chris Christie says some of those towns, beaches, and boardwalks may never be the same. It could take 6-8 months just to get the gas turned back on in Seaside Park alone, for example. That's June.

Right across the Mathis Bridge from Seaside, is the town where I grew up. Toms River, NJ. Exit 82 off the Garden State Parkway. Home of the 1998 Little League Champions. And me.

This weekend, my brother finally was able to send me some pictures of what it looks like. And like him, my mom, and my sister, I didn't like what I saw. This is Fischer Boulevard, the road that leads you to the Mathis Bridge and the beach. A few miles before that, you turn right to get to the house where I grew up. I  never imagined seeing it like this:

That's the bay.
Those are boats.
To the left in the picture above, is a marina. The boats from that marina are now in the middle of Fisher Boulevard. This is the same road where my dad's, and now my brother's, swimming pool business is located. Boats are on the Boulevard.

I feel so helpless. I live 70 miles north now. But it might as well be 700 miles. Gas is hard to come by, and my family and I decided it's best I don't come down until the gas crisis subsides.

This part of the gas line is a block from our house,
and stretches a mile both ways.
What else I hear from my family is distress, concern, worry, and fear. Someone actually siphoned gas from my brother's truck as it sat in a service station's parking lot. It was there because he got two flat tires driving over debris while visiting and helping neighborhoods along the water that were devastated. Then there is this:

It's really come to this?
The town where I grew up is basically a war zone right now. I never thought I would see the day. The house I grew up in is still standing. There is no damage. Everyone I love is safe and healthy. But some of our friends and neighbors, and a lot of our community members, are barely getting by.

So I am asking you for help.

The first lady of New Jersey, Mary Pat Christie has set up the HURRICANE SANDY NEW JERSEY RELIEF FUND. Please follow the link and find a way to donate whatever you can. I've never used this blog as a platform for something like this. But this is an unprecedented situation.

If you want to help Toms River directly, you can follow THIS LINK to donate to a fund set up for Ocean County, NJ.

Please. And thank you.


  1. Love this! Also Jersey & it's all I can blog about these days!! I still have no power here in North Jersey. Our estimated restore date is 11/9. We have trees and power lines down every where & I just waited an hour online for gas. Our shore breaks my heart. Thank you for putting your post out there! Jersey strong!
    Jenn from My Daily Jenn-ism
    Hometown Clifton / Hawthorne.... West Milford now :)

    1. The gas situation scares me. There is no gas in our town - Montclair. Power restored to just 50% of town and it's very cold out. But I feel like they have it so much worse down the shore. I hope people help in any way they can.

    2. There are a few more stations starting to open by us. The further north you go for gas, the better you'll be. If you're not too far I have heard that several gas stations on Route 15 have gas with few lines & no limits. I can't get over to there because that route is still blocked. I keep telling my husband that this is so "Mad Max" - If I can be of any help, please email me to let me know. I may have resources over here... I know a lot of the Clifton/Paterson people are going up 23 but only as far as Riverdale. (I've heard) Good Luck!

  2. My prayers and thoughts are with everyone who has felt the impact of this storm. I have visited the Jersey Shore...and my brother owns a home there. Thankfully, they were spared the wrath. I never thought I would see this much destruction in my life time....and all of the after effects as well. :'( Puts life in perspective so quickly. I have donated and I hope many people do too.

  3. The gas and power situation all over the affected area scares me too....cannot fathom what is happening...

  4. I can't even imagine. I can say that Oldest's middle school is doing a drive. They will be filling a bus and driving it down to Jersey on Thursday. Another business that we frequent is also driving down a bus on Thursday, to another location in Jersey. We will be contributing to both.

    Drop me a note if there's anything that could be useful to stuff the buses with that we wouldn't already know of.

  5. I am so glad that your loved ones are safe and sound. I'm glad to have a trusted person to hear tell the tale. With the media it is hard to know what is truth and what is hype sometimes.

    I will continue to pray for all involved. It looks to be a long, tough road to recovery for many.

  6. I'm Jersey born and raised too, and it's sad how much the shore was devastated. Thanks for writing this post.

  7. I'm in Jersey too. Just as we're getting back to normal, here we go again. Let's hope this next storm is as minor as they're saying it might be. Stay safe and warm. Amazing post. #JerseyStrong!!


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