SEA BRIGHT: SHOCK AND DISMAY AT DAMAGE

A home on the Shrewsbury River side of Sea Bright showed the height of the flooding on Saturday. Below, a resident leaves a shuttle bus with recovered belongings on Monday, assisted by Councilman James LoBiondo. (Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

One resident fled with nothing but his paycheck. A young couple stayed, fleeing with their two-year-old child only after watching a hurricane tear their town apart.

This week, they and other Sea Brighters began getting their first glimpses of the destructive power of Hurricane Sandy, which many of them had anticipated would blow past this sandbar town much as another storm did nearly 14 months earlier.

“I thought it would be a situation like Irene, where it turned out to be not much of a big deal,” Jim Paustian said Tuesday, as he and his family took photos outside their East New Street home, which is now uninhabitable.  “I even almost decided to stay. Now, I’m sure glad I didn’t.”

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MIXED AFTERMATH AMONG SEA BRIGHT HOMES

Wine lover Kevin Corbett recovered all his wine, as well as his golf clubs, from his riverside house, which is slated for demolition. Two doors away, the year-old home of Beatrix and Paul Patton saw little damage.  Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

With a backhoe in his front yard and an orange “5” spray-painted across the face of his house, Kevin Corbett hustled out from his rear deck, a bottle of ’82 Petrus in hand, attempting to use the little time he had to save the things he values most: wine, golf clubs and clothes.

As the backhoe’s claw yanked at a wire strung from what’s left of his Ocean Avenue house, Corbett seemed surprisingly unfazed about entering a precarious structure Monday afternoon.

“It’s beat up out front,” he said with a laugh, “but it’s fine in the back.”

Hundreds of Sea Bright Residents made a brief return home on Monday afternoon to find varying levels of damage inflicted on their households. In some instances, houses that made it out of the storm relatively unscathed were juxtaposed against a neighbor’s residence lying in ruins.

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UPSTAIRS? NADA. DOWNSTAIRS? UTILITY POLE

It sounded a bit like an urban myth, but redbankgreen can now confirm it: Hurricane Sandy tossed a telephone pole into one of the units at the Anchorage Apartments in Sea Bright last week.

Upstairs tenants Melissa Enna and John Summonte, right, visited their unit Monday morning and found “not even a cracked window,” said Enna. Other than the fact that the lower part of their staircase is gone, “it looks like nothing ever happened,” she said.

Downstairs, not so lucky. Where the pole came from wasn’t yet known, but the apartment, which overlooks the Shrewsbury River, had been badly flooded. (Click to enlarge)

STORM SURGE LAYS WASTE TO LITTLE SILVER

Mountains of sopping wet insulation sat discarded on either side of Lippincott Road in Little Silver Friday. (Click to enlarge)

In Little Silver, numerous homes were badly damaged or left uninhabitable by Hurricane Sandy on Monday night, officials said.

At her future in-laws’ home on Little Silver Point Road, Erica Marsh, of Red Bank, said the furniture had been raised up off the floor before the storm, but a surge of water from the creek in their backyard entered the house and pushed it all to one side, blocking the front door.

“They were ready for some water, but not waves and floating pianos,” she told redbankgreen.

A 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew remains in effect in town, and checkpoints have been set up at Gooseneck Bridge and Seven Bridge Road, as well as entries to flood zone neighborhoods, according to a posting on the borough website.

More Little Silver photos after the jump…

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SEA BRIGHT: A WALK THROUGH THE WRECKAGE

A compilation of photos assembled into a video by someone identified on YouTube as ‘Chris M” documents a walk north into Sea Bright on Tuesday, the day after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread damage in the coastal town. (Click to enlarge)