RED BANK: LONG THEY MAY NOT REIGN

Joe Secula of Locust Avenue in Red Bank made the most of this week’s 7.6-inch snowfall, crafting a front yard King Neptune, above, and a king-of-the-road motorcyclist, at right.

Their reigns won’t last long, with sunshine returning and daytime temperatures rising to around 40 degrees Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

See the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green below. (Photos by Cindy Secula. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: SNOW BLANKETS REGION

The north end of Maple Avenue in Red Bank was untouched by plows and tire tracks, but the intersection at West Front Street was clear Sunday evening, early in a northeaster expected to last up to 48 hours.

By dawn Monday, more than four inches had accumulated in Red Bank. A heavy, wet snowfall was expected throughout the day, bringing at least several more inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Of equal concern are wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour, which could bring down tree limbs and power lines, the NWS warned. Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Sunday, and New Jersey Transit suspended rail and bus activity throughout the day Monday.

See the extended forecast for the Greater Red Bank Green below. 

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ON THE GREEN: TWO-DAY SNOWSTORM NEARS

Liquid-brine prep work for an expected snowstorm left some artistic designs on the pavement in Fair Haven Saturday.

The Greater Red Bank Green could see accumulations of between 7 and 14 inches of snow in a storm expected to begin Sunday afternoon and continue into Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service

Along with winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour and threats of power outages and coastal flooding, road travel is expected to be “difficult to impossible,” the NWS says.

Red Bank’s government has issued a parking alert; see below, along with the extended forecast for the region below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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RED BANK: NORTHEASTER FLOODS PARK

red bank, nj, navesink river, monmouth boat club, flood red bank, nj, marine park, flooding With high tide approaching amid a northeaster, the Monmouth Boat Club and adjoining Marine Park in Red Bank were swamped by the Navesink River late Saturday morning. At right, boats moored in the borough marina floated above the bulkhead and promenade.

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ON THE GREEN: COASTAL FLOODING CONTINUES

sb flooding 020916LS seven bridge flooding 020916Coastal flooding was widespread on the Greater Red Bank Green Tuesday morning. Trucks and cars powered through deep water on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, above, and flooding closed Seven Bridge Road just north of Paag Lane in Little Silver, right. And once again, the Navesink River flooded the Monmouth Boat Club in Red Bank, below.

The National Weather Service forecasts tidal inundations won’t be as extensive in the Tuesday night and Wednesday morning high tides.  (Photos above and right by Bob Kern. Photo below by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

rb mbc flooding 020916

RED BANK: SWAMPED AT THE BOAT CLUB

RB SWAMPED CAR 020816rb swamped truck 020816It seems someone neglected to check the tide charts when leaving a red pickup truck in the parking lot shared by the Monmouth Boat Club and North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club in Red Bank. This reader photo, snapped at 7:40 a.m. Monday shows a red vehicle swamped by the Navesink River. The National Weather Service has issued a coastal flood warning (Reader photo above. Photo at right by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: STREETS INUNDATED AGAIN

SB FLOOD 120914 1SB FLOOD 120914 2In a scene reminiscent of the early hours of Hurricane Sandy, a paddleboarder made the most of opportunity and took to the streets of Sea Bright Tuesday morning. “The wind is rough,” he told redbankgreen as he worked his way past the Sea Bright Supermarket.

Many of the borough’s side streets were flooded in the convergence of a wind-driven downpour and Shrewsbury River high tide, as were stretches of Ocean Avenue, which remained open to traffic.  (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

 

 

RUMSON: DRIVER RESCUED FROM FLOODING

RUMSON flood 120914 1 A car sits in the center of Waterman Avenue, its emergency lights still flashing, moments after its driver was rescued Tuesday morning. Below, a pickup truck abandoned near the boat ramp on Avenue of Two Rivers. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

RUMSON flood 120914 2One motorist was rescued and another abandoned his inundated truck as the worst flooding to hit Rumson since Hurricane Sandy swamped low-lying areas of Rumson, police Chief Scott Paterson said Tuesday.

Borough police rescued an unidentified female motorist from her car after it became stuck in floodwaters on Waterman Avenue at about 11 a.m. Paterson tells redbankgreen.

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SEA BRIGHT: FLOODS MAY CLOSE OCEAN AVE.

just_in1Sea Bright officials may close Ocean Avenue along the length of the borough due to flooding from Tuesday’s heavy rains, police Chief John Sorrentino tells redbankgreen.

At 9:45 a.m., Ocean Avenue was impassable due to flooding in the 300 block – about halfway between the Rumson and Highlands bridges — as well at the Monmouth Beach border, Sorrentino said.

In addition, side-streets on the Shrewsbury River side of the narrow borough are experiencing “the usual” flooding, he said.

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FORECAST: ‘PROLONGED’ STORM MAY SOAK US

rainfall totalsA slow-moving coastal storm is expected to linger along the Jersey Shore, bringing gale-force winds and minor flooding Wednesday through Saturday, according to a report issued by the National Weather Service.

Monmouth County could get 1.75 to 2 inches of rain, according to the report, issued Tuesday afternoon.

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SEA BRIGHT: COUNCIL WAIVES PERMIT FEES

Members of the borough council at Tuesday night’s meeting. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Amid complaints by residents about unresolved insurance claims and other rebuilding delays, the Sea Bright borough council rolled out several measures aimed at getting them back into their homes with less hassle and cost Tuesday night.

Among the moves: a moratorium on construction permit fees for all work related to Hurricane Sandy-related rebuilding and repairs.

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SEA BRIGHT: EATING, REFLECTING AND RISING

Chris Wood, as seen in a video, above, and Mayor Dina Long, below, at Saturday night’s event, which raised $130,000 for Sea Bright Rising. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

A hotel in Long Branch was transformed into a showcase of the area’s best culinary talents Saturday night, courtesy of the charity organization Sea Bright Rising and the generosity of local vendors and restaurant owners.

Complete with a live band, charity auction and a video showcasing the relief effort, the sold-out gala, dubbed “The Big Beach Bash,” raised almost $130,000 for Sea Bright’s recovery from Hurricane Sandy, according to the charity group’s Facebook page.

But the real story of the event was perhaps best told by the restaurateurs and merchants whose tables lined the walls of the ballroom of the Ocean Place Resort and Spa. Many were Sea Bright business owners trying to help rebuild their broken beach community joined by owners from neighboring towns looking to lend a hand to friends in need.

Over the lively the noise and, redbankgreen spoke with some of these participating businesses, and here’s what they had to say:

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SEA BRIGHT: CHRISTIE TOUTS FOCUS ON BIZ

Joined by Mayor Dina Long and business owners, Governor Chris Christie unveiled a new cabinet-level office to focus on post-storm rebuilding efforts. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Governor Chris Christie came to Sea Bright Friday afternoon, making his second visit to the storm-ravaged community since Hurricane Sandy struck. But while his first visit was a gesture of support to the beachside borough, this trip was all business.

At a news conference in the borough firehouse, Christie stood in front of a signs from local businesses including Bain’s Hardware, Woody’s Oceanfront Grille and Sea Bright Pizza to announce and lay out plans to help businesses that were affected by the hurricane. These include, he said, the creation of a new cabinet-level position – the Office of Recovery and Rebuilding – and the formation of a business impact assessment group, designed to aid businesses on a personal level.

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SEA BRIGHT: BAIN’S IS BACK IN THE PAINT

Frank Bain working the phone and the computer in the freshly restored paint section of his hardware store. (Photos by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

The rebuilding process in Sea Bright took a big step forward this week when Ocean Avenue mainstay Bain’s Hardware reopened its doors to the public for the first time since Hurricane Sandy hit.

“We opened at noon on 12/12/12 – why go to some concert when you could come down here, right?” owner Frank Bain told redbankgreen Thursday in his newly renovated shop.

Less than seven weeks ago, Bain’s store and every piece of inventory inside of it was destroyed. Now, the half of the store that is currently open looks as though it was never touched by the storm.

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SECOND ‘MOUNTAIN’ PILES UP MEMORIES

A passerby eyes debris in the Anchorage Beach parking lot, above, while a mountain of it dominates the former Peninsula House lot, below. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Mount Sandy, meet Mount Refuse.

Though smaller in stature, the mountain of debris occupying in Sea Bright’s old Peninsula House parking lot on Ocean Avenue is just as scene-stealing and ominous as its sand counterpart, located just a stone’s throw away. This ever-growing pile, however, won’t have onlookers climbing it or posing for closeups anytime soon.

The refuse is the accumulated result of curbside trash pickups in this Hurricane Sandy-smashed town, where residents and business owners are early on in a restoration effort.

It stands, however briefly, as a jarring, visceral reminder of the storm’s reach over porches, through doors and windows, and into rooms and closets.

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SEA BRIGHT: AMID TEARS, GUARD ROLLS OUT

Sea Bright’s tent city was largely dismantled by Friday afternoon. Below, Governor Chris Christie speaking with National Guardsmen at the site on November 9. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

After six weeks of assisting displaced residents and first responders with everything from hot meals to extra clothes, Sea Bright’s tent city – created by the US National Guard – is leaving town.

Following a final community meal on Thursday,  National Guardsmen made their move out of the municipal parking lot around 10:30 a.m. Friday, according to Onofrio Moscato, head chef at neighboring restaurant, Woody’s Ocean Grille, Emotions were running high for the Guard as well as volunteers and residents, he said.

“The National Guard was escorted out by the Sea Bright firemen,” Moscato told redbankgreen. “They were hanging out of the windows and waving. It was a special send-off for them. Before they left, they all stood in line and made a final salute, kind of a sign that their mission here was over.”

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HOT DOG CART AND CHIC EATERY BACK IN BIZ

Hot dog seller Frances Rooney poses for a photo with admirers, including Councilwoman Peggy Bills, at right above. Below, Pat Trama in his restored restaurant. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

One of Sea Bright’s oldest food businesses reopened this week, and one of its newest was scheduled to do so Friday night, two signs that the storm-battered town is cooking up a recovery.

Frances Rooney, affectionately known as “Grandma Hot Dog,”  fired up the gas on her cart this week and was soon attracting lines of hungry and loyal customers.

“My son was the one who really encouraged me to come back out here and start serving people again – sooner rather than later,” she told redbankgreen, “He thought it would be a comforting sight for everyone to see me back in business, up on my feet.”

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RUMSON TEEN’S STORM VIDEO DRAWS TRAIN

A 33-minute video about Hurricane Sandy by a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional student caught the attention of the rock band Train, which will play an acoustic show in Sea Bright as a result, NJ.com reported Wednesday.

Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Nagy videotaped conditions in Sea Bright and Rumson before, during and after the October 29 storm, and folded the band’s music into her production. Now, the San Francisco-based band is planning to play a private show for residents, first responders and their families next week, with the performance to be aired on on VH1 Christmas Day, the website of the Star-Ledger reports.

The effort will spotlight the efforts of Sea Bright Rising, a nonprofit devoted to the general recovery of the town of Sea Bright and care for its residents in the interim.

From the story:

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SEA BRIGHT: BAIN’S PAINTS ITS OWN FUTURE

Frank Bain outside his Ocean Avenue hardware store, where all the inventory was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

“This isn’t a competition,” said a stone-faced Frank Bain, when asked if his would be the first business to reopen in Sea Bright after Hurricane Sandy.

But checking in on recent activity at Bain’s Hardware, a visitor might conclude that not only was Bain in a race, but one that his life depended on winning.

One late afternoon last week, the Ocean Avenue storefront was a swarm of dust-encrusted laborers, some installing new subflooring even as others continued with interior demolition work. At one point, an impromptu crew, Bain included, picked up and hustled the pieces of a shattered street lamp from the sidewalk out front to the side of the building.

Make no mistake about it: Bain is in a major hurry. With no flood insurance and every item in his 65,000-SKU shop destroyed, his economic life hangs in the balance, he’s the first to admit. “Getting that register ringing again is paramount,” he told redbankgreen.

But he’s driven just as much, he said, by the importance of his store to other businesses and homeowners who themselves are faced with rebuilding challenges. “We are out here working so that we can get back on our feet and help this town as soon as humanly possible,” he said.

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SEA BRIGHT: ON TOP OF MOUNT SANDY

Rachel Pedersen and Carolyn Rigby on the Sea Bright sandpile, which attracts dog-walkers and other sightseers. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

The beach clubs and bars may be temporarily gone, but Sea Bright appears to have a new, if temporary attraction: ‘Mount Sandy.’

Rising perhaps 40 feet above the ocean beach on which it was built, a giant pile of sand reclaimed from the storm-tossed borough’s streets has been luring sightseers willing to climb its soft face, rewarding them with a bird’s-eye view of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation.

Just yards away, in fact, is a another mountain rising, this one made of discarded appliances, furniture and building materials.

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SEA BRIGHT MOVES MEETING TO THE BASIE

The mayor and council of Sea Bright took to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank Monday night to accommodate a crowd that would not have fit into the town’s borough hall. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

It was anything but business as usual for Sea Bright residents as they gathered for their borough council’s bimonthly  meeting Monday night.

Stoked by concerns that their homes and businesses might not be rebuilt in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy’s extensive damage, dozens filled seats near the stage at Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre to pepper elected officials with questions about everything from stray transformers to the fate of their town.

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SEA BRIGHT: MERCHANTS PLAN NEW STARTS

Cono Trezza in his newly built pizzeria last February, and as it appeared five days after the storm, below. (Photo below by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

For owners of Sea Bright businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the rebuilding process has just begun. As they assess the damages and take steps toward the recovery of their livelihoods, each has his or her own distinct post-Sandy tale to tell. redbankgreen spoke to four of them this week about their plans in the aftermath of the cataclysmic events that ravaged through their beach community. Here are their stories.

Sea Bright Pizza:
Cono Trezza faces an uphill battle, like most property owners in Sea Bright, though he is meeting it with spirit and vigor that some might find surprising, given the state of his business.

“I want to get back as soon as possible,” Trezza said. “If my ovens were working right now I’d start cooking pizzas for everyone that’s out here.”

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