Social Media in an Emergency: The Storm

When Hurricane Sandy struck in late October 2012, the region was less prepared as a direct result of Hurricane Irene, a storm that fizzled out the year before. Here are some bulletins and aftermath photos captured once “ground zero,” the barrier island, was opened up to press access.

Riverside Signal
October 31, 2012 ·
Toiletries, blankets and volunteers are needed at Toms River Intermediate South, Beachwood. Drop of any items as possible. To volunteer, call 848-992-0216.

November 1, 2012 ·
OCEAN GATE – Please be aware that Mayor Paul Kennedy issued a release to local news organizations, including the Riverside Signal, stating that he has declared Ocean Gate to be in a state of emergency and a curfew is now in effect for all ages between 5 pm and 7 am until further notice. Those who need to be in and out of town for work during those hours will need to exhibit identification if stopped. He further stated the reason for such an early hour is that “this Sunday the clocks change and it will be darker earlier. And with no power in the entire town it will be very very dark and dangerous.”

November 2, 2012 ·
No power, heat or worse? Have kids who missed Halloween? Come to Jakes Branch Park this Saturday, November 3rd for a special Autumn Fun event in and around its fully powered, heated nature center and featuring hayrides, games, pumpkin painting, marshmallow roasting and more. Cost has been waived due to the storm hardships. Bring kids, wear costumes, bring pumpkins, bring all that undistributed Halloween candy to hand out to the kids present or just bring yourselves and try to forget the difficulties of this past week even for a little while. ALL ARE INVITED. Tell you friend, tell your neighbor, tell anybody with kids. This will be the only event held at the park until further notice as the park system restores itself following Hurricane Sandy. For more information, call the nature center at 732-281-2750. Jakes Branch Park is located at 1100 Double Trouble Road in Beachwood.

November 2, 2012 ·
PINE BEACH – Bob Rohan of Pine Beach Pride is calling for as many volunteers as possible to meet up at the Pine Beach Public Works garage on Pennsylvania Avenue this Saturday, November 3rd at 10 am to organize for a planned cleanup along Riverside Drive and possibly other locations. Mr. Rohan further states that “This is necessary to assess immediate and long term damage to the bulkhead structures along Riverside Drive. Why? No bulkhead, no road.” Volunteers are asked to wear boots and bring gloves, rakes, flat shovels, and lawn and leaf bags. A flatbed truck will be provided to haul out debris. “We appreciate any and all help we can get,” he adds.

November 2, 2012 ·
PINE BEACH – The Lamp Post Inn is open for business – up and running on a generator. Limited menu and cash only but they will be open until around 6 or 7 PM tonight. Hot meal and heat!

November 2, 2012 ·
BEACHWOOD – Stop & Shop Food Market on Atlantic City Boulevard is running on a generator and has various food items plus hot coffee ready for sale.

November 4, 2012 ·
Emergency Ocean Gate Council meeting today at noon, borough hall. Storm-related information only; members from responding emergency departments will be present. Ocean Gate Halloween Parade to follow at 1pm, starting at the Ocean Gate Yacht Club, Ocean Gate Avenue. Refreshments to follow.

Beachwood Mayor Roma: Beachwood is trick or treating tomorrow, Monday 11/5, between 10am and 4pm.

Free coffee, soup, phone recharge and WiFi at the Cookie Cab, 10 Washington Street in downtown Toms River, NOW! All invited! Here til at least 8pm.

Pine Beach – Trick or Treating on Monday, November 5th from noon to 6pm. Voting is still at the firehouse on Prospect Avenue on Tuesday, November 6th.

The Riverside Signal will post a written overview of today’s emergency council meeting plus links to download or stream the full audio of the entire meeting for residents seeking more information to this page plus the popular Ocean Gate NJ Facebook group. It will include all pertinent current information from the meeting. Further stories on the storm and its aftermath in Ocean Gate and the other river communities will appear in the Riverside Signal’s new edition on Friday, November 9th at the green boxes around town and the region (and in stores, where open).
Please check back late tonight or early tomorrow for the meeting overview and audio links. Thank you.

ISLAND HEIGHTS – Trick or treating in Island Heights has been officially canceled due to the lack of power in portions of the borough. Polling Tuesday will still be held at borough hall in the Wanamaker Complex as a generator is currently providing electric power to the building.

SOUTH TOMS RIVER – Councilman Sandford Ross, Jr. reported at just after 9pm that: “The Mayor and Council have decided that South Toms River will hold trick or treat on Monday November 5th from 1 pm until 5 pm per the Governor’s direction. We ask that parents monitor their children while trick or treating as there are still areas in town where trees are down and safety may be a concern. Additional patrols by our police department, fire department, first aid squad, and borough officials will occur to help ensure that everyone is as safe as possible. We thank all of our residents for their patience and concern for each other during this time of difficulty following Hurricane Sandy. Please see the borough website, southtomsriver-nj.com, or visit strnj.com for further information.”

November 7, 2012 ·
BEACHWOOD – Mayor Roma, in an automated telephone call late this afternoon, reported that JCP&L expects the majority of power in Beachwood restored by the end of the day, but that due to the nor’easter and already compromised trees and power lines, residents should expect possible delays.
Further, all meetings in the borough have been canceled for the day and residents are asked to stay off the roadways.
The mayor also reminded all residents that some of their friends and neighbors may be cold and hungry, and to offer them a place to warm up and possibly take a hot shower. Red Cross Disaster Relief trucks were traveling through the borough offering hot meals, and anyone who is in need of such service may call (409) 256-6417.
More information is available on the borough website at http://www.beachwoodusa.com, where residents may also sign up their home and cell phones to receive these automated calls year-round.

November 8, 2012 ·
Why can’t I get into my home when other towns are allowed?

A message from Toms River Township Mayor Tom Kelaher

I want to reassure all Toms River residents that the Administration is working with the Police Department and New Jersey State Police in developing a plan for barrier island residents to visit their homes as soon as possible. The magnitude of Sandy’s impact to the barrier island’s infrastructure cannot fully be comprehended through pictures and videos. The New Jersey Department of Transportation is working with the Township to ensure that the island’s infrastructure is restored to stable condition prior to re-entry.
The Ortley Beach section suffered the most damage along the barrier island south of Mantoloking. The Ocean Terrace roadway has been completely destroyed, and Bay Boulevard has over twenty sinkholes from Harding Ave to the Lavallette border. The NJDOT has removed a number of structures that floated off their foundations and settled in the middle of both municipal roads and State Highway 35.
We understand that other towns have allowed residents into their homes after State engineers deemed those areas to be safe. Most of these towns did not experience the level of destruction that we did. We are in constant communication with NJ Department of Transportation, and arec working as quickly as possible to ensure that their assessments are completed and appropriate measures are implemented. We need to abide by the DOT’s orders for the safety of all residents.
Heavy earth moving equipment has been working to shore up dunes in anticipation of today’s nor’easter.
We are thankful that fact that there were no fatalities or major injuries to our residents and we want to keep it that way going forward..
Arrangements are underway for a safe re-entry plan and residents will be updated on our township website the moment that information becomes available. You will be given ample notice and multiple opportunities to visit your homes, get belongings and winterize.
Thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.

#njsandy Ocean County Deaths from Superstorm Sandy
Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford released the following information concerning
the four people whose lives were lost in connection with “Superstorm Sandy” in Ocean County.
“Our thoughts are with these families”, the prosecutor said.

1. Celestine Kreitzer (94 years old)
633 Oakwood Drive
Forked River, NJ
Date of Birth: 5-25-18
Pronouncement Date / Time: 10-30-12 / 1435 hours.
Cause of Death: Hypothermia

2. George Tatay
139 Vanard Drive
Brick, NJ
Date of Birth: 5-19-51
Pronouncement Date / Time: 10-30-12 / 1701 hours.
Cause of Death: Asphyxia due to drowning

3. Erwin Bockhorn
107 South Forte Castle Drive
Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Date of Birth: 5-3-40
Pronouncement Date / Time: 10-30-12 / 1130 hours
Cause of Death: Drowning

4. Leonard Thompson
1092 Walter Blvd.
Stafford, NJ
Date of Birth: 4-15-41
Pronouncement Date / Time: 10-31-12 / 2146 hours
Cause of Death: Hypothermia due to exposure to cold conditions

The Anchor Inn, Ocean Gate, will be reopening its doors tomorrow, Friday, November 9th at 11 am. Following the storm last week, its owners, the Golda family, cleared out their freezers and cooked up a buffet for all borough residents affected by the loss of power and rampant flooding borough-wide. The Riverside Signal thanks Golda’s Anchor Inn for being a beacon of the community for the past 50 years and urges everybody to return the favor by stopping by for a bite and a drink in the coming weeks.
Are you aware of a local business that was affected by and helped out those in need during Superstorm Sandy? Send us a note to publisher@riversidesignal.com and we’ll confirm it and then promote their good deed, products and services and add their names to our new Superstorm Sandy Honor Roll!

November 2012 – Barrier Island Photos on Social Media

The following were posted to social media to give the area a deeper understanding of the damage of Hurricane Sandy. They were heavily watermarked as television news stations and competing websites were committing a great deal of photo theft at the time. Three of them were selected as part of a special post-Sandy show at the John F. Peto Studio Museum, Island Heights, the following year.

#njsandy Seaside Park Lifeguard Station and Funtown Pier, Seaside Park, November 9th, 2012

#njsandy Seaside Park Lifeguard Station and Funtown Pier, Seaside Park, November 9th, 2012

#njsandy Seaside Heights Boardwalk, taken from the front area of Beachcomber Bar & Grill, facing north

#njsandy Seaside Heights Boardwalk, taken from the front area of Beachcomber Bar & Grill, facing north

#njsandy Funtown Pier's Ferris Wheel, now partly standing on the beachfront itself.

#njsandy Funtown Pier’s Ferris Wheel, now partly standing on the beachfront itself.

#njsandy The ruins of Funtown Pier's Retro Arcade - the vintage videogames dating back to the late 1970s that once were collected and restored here are now completely destroyed and appear mostly washed out to sea. On the right, part of the room that held the pinball machines can be seen, crushed, with two such machines on their side beneath the collapsed roof.

#njsandy The ruins of Funtown Pier’s Retro Arcade – the vintage videogames dating back to the late 1970s that once were collected and restored here are now completely destroyed and appear mostly washed out to sea. On the right, part of the room that held the pinball machines can be seen, crushed, with two such machines on their side beneath the collapsed roof.

#njsandy Ocean Avenue facing south from the Seaside Park Municipal Parking Lot, Friday, November 9th. Note the abundance of sand washed across the lot and roadway from the storm swell that was then pushed into large mounds in the lot at this point.

#njsandy Ocean Avenue facing south from the Seaside Park Municipal Parking Lot, Friday, November 9th. Note the abundance of sand washed across the lot and roadway from the storm swell that was then pushed into large mounds in the lot at this point.

#njsandy Funtown Pier rides, as viewed from the boardwalk Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy Funtown Pier rides, as viewed from the boardwalk Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy Beach Bar & Grill, as seen from the beachfront, Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy Beach Bar & Grill, as seen from the beachfront, Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy The rivalry survived Superstorm Sandy, Seaside Heights, Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy The rivalry survived Superstorm Sandy, Seaside Heights, Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy More rides from the beachfront, Funtown Pier, Friday, November 9th.

#njsandy More rides from the beachfront, Funtown Pier, Friday, November 9th.

Fielder Avenue, Ortley Beach, facing north/east, Friday, November 16th, 2012.

Fielder Avenue, Ortley Beach, facing north/east, Friday, November 16th, 2012.

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing south, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing south, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing south, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing south, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing east/south/west, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Fielder and Ocean Avenues, Ortley Beach, facing east/south/west, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Joey Harrison's Surf Club facing east/south, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Joey Harrison’s Surf Club facing east/south, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Joey Harrison's Surf Club facing north, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Joey Harrison’s Surf Club facing north, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, facing north, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, facing north, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, facing east/south, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

2nd Avenue, facing east/south, Ortley Beach, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Beach III, facing west/north, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Beach III, facing west/north, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Interior/Exterior Bungalow, Ocean Beach III, facing north, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Interior/Exterior Bungalow, Ocean Beach III, facing north, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Bungalow cantilevered roof, Ocean Beach III, facing south, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Bungalow cantilevered roof, Ocean Beach III, facing south, near Sea View Road, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Jacobsen Lane and Ocean Terrace facing west/north, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Jacobsen Lane and Ocean Terrace facing west/north, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

4th Avenue and Ocean Terrace facing west/north/east, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

4th Avenue and Ocean Terrace facing west/north/east, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Terrace near 4th and 5th avenues facing south/west, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Terrace near 4th and 5th avenues facing south/west, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Terrace near 4th and 5th avenues facing west/north, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

Ocean Terrace near 4th and 5th avenues facing west/north, Normandy Beach, Friday, November 16th, 2012. (c) Riverside Signal LLC

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