It feels like only yesterday.....


I heard SoJO Meteorologist Alan Kasper report of a Hurricane possibly coming our way.   I wasn't sure what this storm was capable of doing, or if the hurricane would even make it this far north.


Her name was Sandy, and she was mad.


Over the next few days, I began to watch the news more and more.  The Hurricane wasn't stopping, and SoJO had three Halloween events on the calender.  On the night before the Hurricane payed a visit to the Jersey Shore, I judged a Halloween costume contest and participated in a SoJO Halloween party. However, everyone's mind wasn't on Halloween, and certainly not the stupid costume I was wearing.


The next morning, I immediately packed a week's worth of clothes.  I also packed food and water.  I moved all of my furniture away from the windows ( I live on the Atlantic City beach).  It felt like I was moving away from my house, and moving into the SoJO station.


For the next three days, I slept on my General Manager's love seat in his office, only getting about three hours of sleep each night.   I spent my days reporting the latest information both on the air, and online.  I listened to some of the residents on the islands reporting the destruction they were witnessing, all while I was wondering why they haven't evacuated yet.


Major floods, homes being destroyed, boardwalks completely underwater; these were just a few of the things I was reporting.


My phone wouldn't stop ringing.  Friends and family from all over the country were calling and texting me, some of whom I haven't heard from in years.


One night, I remember walking outside for a brief moment.  Once I stepped outside, I had this eerie feeling.   We were under the eye of the storm, and it was quiet outside.....very quiet.  No traffic on Tilton Rd, no wind, no rain, just silence.  It was like the calm before the storm.   Then, reality set in.  I was so busy reporting and following the storm, that I didn't even think of my own home.


Was it still there?


(OH, and I also kicked myself for not purchasing renters insurance......don't worry, I have a policy now.)


The next morning, a couple of my co-workers and I decided to take a look at the towns surrounding us.  We wanted to get a first hand look at what Sandy had done....or was still doing.  This is what we saw....



Shocked, perplexed, heartbroken;  these were just a few of the feelings I had during our trip.


The following day, I was allowed to check on my apartment.  The basement and laundry room was flooded. There was no electricity or heat for a few days, but other than that, I still had a home.   I was very lucky.


I couldn't say the same thing about some of my friends just ten minutes down the street.  Homes were flooded.  Furniture, clothes, pictures, and anything else left in these homes were destroyed.


I've seen things like this before on The Weather Channel, or maybe in a movie.  To see it in real life, however, changed everything.


Sandy made me think about how much I take life for granted.  Basic necessities like a roof over my head, and clothes in my closet; these were just some of the things that I didn't even think about on a daily basis.


To say Sandy taught me a few lessons, is an understatement.


Today, we look back at this past year.  How far have we come? Very far.  How far do we have left to go?  Very far.


We here at SoJO continue to stay Jersey Strong for those who are still affected by Hurricane Sandy.  On Tuesday, October 29, we reflect on this past year.   SoJO104.9, and other area Townsquare Media radio stations, has organized an event called 'Light Up New Jersey' at Laguna Grill and Rum Bar in Brigantine.  We will pause, reflect, and see how far we have truly come on this historic night.


We hope you can join us, click here for information.

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