Some additional thoughts regarding Hurricane Sandy are warranted.
Sometimes storms get overhyped. Not this one! Superstorm Sandy will never be forgotten. Not since 1903 had a hurricane made such a dramatic, almost unprecedented left turn against all metrological odds.
Sandy made landfall at Jerome Avenue in Margate at about 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29.
For about two hours it became eerily quiet in southern New Jersey.
Initially, folks were praying for a miracle that our region would be spared, but it was merely the eye of the superstorm passing calmly over Atlantic County.
The wind became very angry for many hours. The rains poured 6 to 10 inches throughout hundreds of miles. Homes were flattened, others severely damaged – and miraculously, some were spared.
Some Atlantic and Cape May coastal communities were closed for four to five days. The cleanup is proving to be a massive undertaking. Thousands of homes on the barrier islands were destroyed or significantly damaged.
Seaside Heights, Long Beach Island and other northern parts of New Jersey were even harder hit. Because of a late change in the wind direction, it spared the Atlantic shore area from even further damage at the expense of LBI, Seaside Heights, North Jersey and New York City.
The storm lifted homes from their foundations, and the raging ocean met the bay and left waist-high sand and water damage throughout New Jersey and beyond.
To date, the most damage ever incurred by a hurricane had been $16 billion; that was caused by Irene in 2011. It's still to be determined, but the initial estimates of Hurricane Sandy are approximately $50 billion.
Many East Coast residents well remember, either through history or firsthand account, the big storms of 1944, 1962, 1985, 1991 and the very large and destructive tropical cyclone that affected the Caribbean and much of the East Coast (Hurricane Irene in 2011).
Few people alive could possibly remember the last time that a hurricane hit landfall in this manner. It was more than 108 years ago.
Sandy had mixed with at least two winter storms and was measured at more than 500 miles wide when it made landfall; a very rare convergence that created an unprecedented superstorm that pummeled the mid-Atlantic and New England states.
It was the perfect storm. Cruelly, a deep dip in the jet stream created the coldest air of the fall year, and served to give Sandy an extra dose of strength.
Millions of people have faced misery. An unprecedented 7 million out of 8.8 million New Jersey residents lost electrical power. To date more than 100 people have lost their life, with recovery operations still in full force.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie formally requested a pre-landfall emergency declaration for New Jersey in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy.
It was this preplanning that served the state, Gov. Christie and President Barack Obama very well in the days that would follow. New Jersey was able to effectively respond, where we have seen New York City and state fail.
Also, during the final days of Decision 2012, it was appropriate that Christie and Obama came together beyond the petty, parochial politics that usually prevails in America today. They rose above it.
There are so many magnificent stories about the best in human behavior being on display during this crisis. Neighbors were unconditionally helping other neighbors.
Some had generators. Most did not. People ran extension cords to give their neighbor much-needed electrical power. People shared their food, clothing and shelter with those who either lost or were separated from everything they owned.
The "I," "me" and "my" society had become one. We were all in this together, and no one seemed to care about who got the credit. Millions are still without power and cannot return home because of travel restriction bans and property damage.
Even the 1970s-style odd and even gasoline purchasing status was in effect for half of New Jersey. The recovery efforts will be months and years in the making.
I had the privilege of interviewing Gov. Christie on air last Wednesday. His leadership has been exceptional. He said that we will not accept anything less then the same federal reimbursement that states affected by Hurricane Katrina received.
Gov. Christie also announced the establishment of a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund that is being headed by our great first lady Mary Pat Christie.
Keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers.
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