FAIR HAVEN: STUDENT TACKLES STORM SURGES

Caroline Peters 103114Caroline Peters on the Fair Haven Dock with her informational plaque describing storm surges. Below, an enlargeable view of her project. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

FH plaque 103114Next summer, when Fair Haven residents return to the placid town dock on the Navesink River for some fishing or light entertainment, they’ll find a new informational display reminding them that the beautiful waterway just underneath them can become an instrument of destruction.

Caroline Peters, a 17-year-old senior at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional, created the display in pursuit of her Girl Scouts Gold Award – the equivalent of the Boy Scouts’ Eagle designation, she tells redbankgreen. And the project came about because she sensed that many people had grown complacent about hurricane warnings by the time Hurricane Sandy unleashed its wrath on the Jersey Shore and beyond two years ago.

“I lived through it, I have friends who lost their homes in it,” Peters said following a dedication ceremony last month. “So it’s all about storm surges, and how you can prepare for them.”

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RED BANK: REFLOATING A LOBSTER SHACK

Kelly Ryan at her storm-damaged Red Bank restaurant on Tuesday. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

“When people think of Sandy’s impact on Red Bank, most will say that the town didn’t get it so bad,” says Kelly Ryan, owner of the Boondocks Fishery, a summer-only, open-air eatery that’s been serving lobsters and scallops adjacent to the Navesink River and Marine Park for the past four years. “But I guess they haven’t seen this place.”

“We came back here the day after the storm, and my first reaction was ‘Oh my God, the building is still standing,'” she said. “But once we looked inside, we understood that even though the structure was still up, the insides were completely devastated.”

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RED BANK: A SURGE IN SEARCH OF POWER

With power on along the west side of Broad Street, Starbucks was packed with laptoppers at noon Thursday. Below, an unidentified man tapped into the grid courtesy of a vacant storefront. (Click to enlarge)

They’re hungry for power.

With tens of thousands of homes still without electricity on the Red Bank area, data-starved residents are swarming facilities with electricity, wifi and, ideally, coffee Thursday.

Starbucks in Red Bank was packed at noon, nearly 24 hours after power was restored to parts of the downtown.

Other businesses are encouraging the public to stop by and charge up.

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SEA BRIGHT SMASHED BY HURRICANE SANDY

Ship Ahoy Beach Club appears heavily damaged, as seen from the bridge. Below, Ocean Avenue looking north during the storm Monday. (Photo below by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Hurricane Sandy devastated Sea Bright Monday, bashing beach clubs and stores from the ocean side, flooding from the river side, and leaving an avenue of deep sand more than a mile long along Ocean Avenue, witnesses said.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, police were still barring entry to the sandbar borough, citing dangers that included downed power lines and natural gas leaks.

But in interviews with redbankgreen, witnesses — including two holdouts who defied a mandatory evacuation order and rode out the storm in their homes — spoke of far-reaching destruction.

“Chapel Beach Club – that’s gone,” said weekly Two River Times news photographer Scott Longfeld, who was permitted into town. “Every club except for Surfside is destroyed.”

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RED BANK: SANDY SINKS ANTI-OBAMA FLOAT

Just two days ago, it was riding high, towed around on the Navesink by a boater whose identity redbankgreen doesn’t know. By Monday, though, a custom-built anti-Obama floating ad was underwater at a dock in Red Bank.

Should we read anything into this about next week’s presidential election? And if so, who is sunk: Obama or Nobama? (Photo above by Michael McMahon; at right, by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: WIND RIPS ROOF OFF HIGH-RISE

Strong winds peeled back the roofing atop the Grandville Tower high rise on Morford Place in Red Bank Monday afternoon, leaving it flapping over the edge of the 10-story building. (Photo by Ken Kalada. Click to enlarge)

REALLY? NOW??

Fido gets one of his most pressing needs tended to on East Front Street in Red Bank during a Hurricane Sandy downpour Monday afternoon. (Click to enlarge)

SHREWSBURY: WIRES DOWN ON SYCAMORE

Emergency workers closed a stretch of Sycamore Avenue in Shrewsbury around 2 p.m. Monday after a tree limb took down some wires. An auto accident apparently occurred nearby, with a mistaken initial report of an entrapment, though it was not immediately clear if the two incidents were related, police Chief Lou Ferraro told redbankgreen.  (Click to enlarge)

RED BANK? TRY GRAY BANK

Yestercades owner Ken Kalada shared this shot of Marine Park, Red Bank. (Photo by Ken Kalada. Click to enlarge)

redbankgreen readers Ken Kalada and Deb Smith sent us these storm shots taken early Monday.

Have you got one you’d like to share? Feel free to email it to us, full-sized, with info about when and where it was taken, and who if anyone should be credited.

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DOWNTOWN SEA BRIGHT UNDERWATER

redbankgreen photographer Peter Lindner snapped this shot on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright at about 10:30 a.m.

Water was at mid-thigh, Lindner reports. Wind is howling there, too. Still, a few sightseers were out. (Photo by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

SEA BRIGHT: OCEAN VIEW

Wish you were there? Sea Bright beach, around 10:30 Monday morning. (Video by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON-SEA BRIGHT: FAST-MOVING RIVER

A view of the fast incoming tide on the Shrewsbury River between Rumson and Sea Bright, as seen from Lincoln Avenue in Rumson at about 9 a.m. Monday. Photographer Peter Lindner says the West Park section of Rumson, which was ordered evacuated, has about a foot of water in many places. (Video by Peter Lindner. Click to enlarge)

RUMSON ORDERS EVACUATION

There was barely an unused square foot of ground at the Oceanic Marina Sunday afternoon, as all vessels were pulled from the water in advance of the storm. (Click to enlarge)

Though a mandatory evacuation order was in effect as of 4 p.m. Sunday, redbankgreen saw lots of lights and televisions glowing after 8 p.m. in homes along the streets that Rumson authorities warned are in danger of severe flooding as a result of expected storm surges.

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SEA BRIGHT SHUTS DOWN

A motorist stopped at a sign reading “Turn Around Now” at the foot of the Rumson-Sea Bright Bridge around 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Click to enlarge)

With a mandatory evacuation order in effect and a roaring storm expected to put the town “under water,” in the words of Mayor Dina Long, Sea Bright shut itself to the outside world Sunday evening, barring traffic across the two bridges that provide access. From the south, Ocean Avenue was reported to be flooded in Monmouth Beach as a result of ocean water overtopping the sea wall.

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RED BANK BEFORE THE STORM

The folks at Sugarush figured a little sweet talk couldn’t hurt. (Click to enlarge)

The looming arrival of Hurricane Sandy lent an eerie vibe to an otherwise ordinary Sunday in autumn yesterday. Businesses in downtown Red Bank taped their windows as a precaution while the whitecapped Navesink River spilled over its banks at high tide, offering a preview of watery destruction yet to come.

Borough government and schools are to be closed Monday and Tuesday, with no sanitation or leaf pickups.

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FAIR HAVEN GETS ITS TOES WET

Illuminated by the headlights of their car, a couple snaps pictures of the Navesink River just as it breaches the deck of the Fair Haven dock around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. (Click to enlarge)

No evacuations were ordered in the riverfront town of Fair Haven, though borough offices and schools are to be closed at least through Monday, and will reopen when conditions “are deemed safe for employees to return,” according to a message on the town website. Also, garbage collection is suspended until further notice.

LITTLE SILVER EXPECTS ‘SEVERE’ FLOODING

Sandbags outside Gianni’s Pizza, at Church Street and Prospect Avenue in Little Silver Sunday afternoon as the region braced for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. 

With flooding “expected to be severe” in low-lying sections of the borough, a voluntary evacuation was suggested by emergency management officials Saturday. Parking was made available to borough residents at the town-owned parking lot at the Little Siver train station.

Borough government and schools, including Red Bank Regional High, are closed Monday and Tuesday. (Click to enlarge)

GOOGLE FORECASTS HIGHEST SURGES HERE

The above map indicates that the probability of storm surges of six feet or more accompanying Hurricane Sandy are greater along the Navesink River, upper Shrewsbury River, Sandy Hook Bay and New York Harbor than nearly anywhere else along the storm’s path.

The map, created by the Google Crisis Response team, reflects geographic data from a variety of sources, including official information sources and user-generated content.

SEA BRIGHT BATTENS DOWN FOR WALLOPING

Residents crowded the downtown bus stop and shopkeepers boarded up windows Sunday afternoon in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by Rebecca Desfosse. Click to enlarge)

By: REBECCA DESFOSSE

Most or all of the Sea Bright residents who were leaving town had complied with a so-called mandatory evacuation order or were in the process of doing so, Mayor Dina Long told redbankgreen shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

But among the town’s 1,800 residents are some who refuse to leave, and town officials said they have no legal wherewithal to force them to do so, even with a hurricane expected to inflict historic damage tracking northward.

“That’s what they do – they ride out storms,” said Long. “I’m hoping an praying that they don’t have to be rescued.”

Councilman and emergency services liaison Read Murphy said police and volunteers ran a check of the streets in town after a 4 p.m. evacuation horn was sounded, marking the departure deadline.

“We just let them know, if you get in trouble, we’re not going to come get you,” he said of the holdouts.

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SEA BRIGHT READIES FOR POSSIBLE STORM

If the TV cameras are out in Sea Bright, a storm must be brewing: Councilman Read Murphy being interviewed Thursday. Below, a rainfall forecast map issued early Friday by the National Weather Service. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

In Sea Bright, a spit of sand laid down between a mighty ocean and a fast-moving river, they’re taking this one seriously.

For the first time since Hurricane-slash-Tropical Storm Irene 14 months ago, the town’s business owners and officials say they’re bracing for a possible weather wallop – this time in the form of a combined Hurricane Sandy from the south and cold front from the north.

It’s a collision that’s already been dubbed ‘Frankenstorm‘ four days in advance of its expected arrival. The New York Times says it could produce “a historic and potentially devastating storm” for the Northeast.

“It’s coming. It’s bad,” said Cono Trezza, owner of Sea Bright Pizza on Ocean Avenue. He’s thinking of sandbagging the front and back doors of the recently remodeled space.

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ROAD WASHOUT WIPES OUT TRIATHLON

swimThe bike and run portions of Saturday’s event have been scratched, but 1.2- and 2.4-mile swims in the Navesink will be offered. Below, the planned bike route. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

tri-bike-mapRoad damage from Tropical Storm Irene five weeks ago has prompted organizers to pull the plug on this Saturday’s Red Bank Triathlon, redbankgreen has learned.

The problem is Hubbard Avenue, which was undermined when Shadow Lake overtopped its banks and is still in the process of being repaired, says race organizer Doug Rice.

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PATIENCE & GROANS AS OUTAGES PERSIST

1st-ave-rumson-083011A downed tree and electrical lines had First Street in Rumson blocked off 48 hours after the storm. Below, a sign on the locked doors of Trader Joe’s in Shrewsbury. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

trader-joes-0830111Electrical power was restored at Fair Haven Mayor Mike Halfacre’s home late Monday night, about 12 hours after he bought a mobile generator.

But he’s still still in the dark about when the lights will be on in the parts of his town that still don’t have power, he said.

Progress that had been made over the last two years in repairing strained relations between the town and First Energy subsidiary Jersey Central Power & Light “seems to have been completely undone,” as the utility company has failed to keep officials informed about efforts to restore power in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Halfacre said.

“I have found it incredibly frustrating dealing with JCP&L,” Halfacre tells redbankgreen. “There’s been a complete lack of substantive information.”

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A ‘LITTLE KISS,’ THEN GOODNIGHT, IRENE

Braced for the worst, and recalling the devastation caused by the northeaster of 1992, the borough of Sea Bright evacuated all residents in advance of the arrival of Hurricane Irene Saturday. Even emergency personnel were ready to relocate to Rumson if things got as bad as forecast.

But less than 24 hours after what was supposed to have been the peak of a horrific storm, residents and business owners on the narrow spit of sand had one word to describe what they experienced when Irene, by then downgraded to a tropical storm, blew through: “lucky.”

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SINGER SEBASTIAN BACH’S HOME DESTROYED

seb-bach-houseHeavy metal singer Sebastian Bach‘s Middletown home was destroyed when the Swimming River Reservoir overflowed its banks Sunday, he writes on his Facebook page.

A “numb, in shock & devastated” Bach reports that the house, once featured on MTV’s ‘Cribs,’ has been ‘destroyed, condemned and deemed uninhabitable,’ and that cherished mementos  were lost in the onrush of reservoir water.

“Somewhere under this river is a Kiss pinball machine and 2 gargoyles from the Dynasty tour,” he writes beneath the photo at left. “If you see them floating past your house, they’re mine. Or at least they were. :(”

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