‘Light Up New Jersey': A Look Back at Sandy
(Tonight, we "Light Up New Jersey". Join Harry Hurley from WPG Talk Radio 1450 and our own Todd Ranck this evening at 6:00 for a live broadcast from Trump Plaza in #AtlanticCity as we#LightUpNewJersey! #Sandy1Year)
It's hard to believe a year ago on Tuesday super storm Sandy came into our lives and changed South Jersey forever. "Stronger then the storm" became our motto, and maybe we are today - but it took time to get there and a year has past - where are we today?
Many of us know someone who was without a home or is still without a home, due to Sandy. Many local businesses were destroyed and never came back, some came back bigger and better. Drive around the local beach towns and I am sure someone in the neighborhood is getting their house lifted - thanks to Sandy.
At the time I lived in Margate, a small beach town that was hit very hard. Tons of local businesses were destroyed, slowly they've returned. You take for granted sometimes that Wawa is always going to be on the corner, so I can stop and get coffee on my way to work - it was gone for six months. Across the street, CVS was boarded up for five months.
Friends of mine who lived in the Ventnor Heights section of Ventnor still are remodeling or even lifting their houses. Driving through the Heights months after the storm didn't look like a storm came through, it looked like a war had resided there - people are still gutting their homes, waiting for Sandy money and waiting to return home.
The Atlantic City boardwalk, during the storm there were reports that it was destroyed -luckily it was not and had a wonderful summer. Ocean City's famous boardwalk made it through the storm, though I have friends who's houses weren't so lucky in Ocean City.
There was some positive, we saw people come together, people, helping people. My sister and her husband lived in a ground level apartment in Ventnor at the time - it was completely destroyed.
I want to thank Roy Greenblatt, owner of Matt Blatt Kia in Egg Harbor Twp. He had been listening to our storm coverage and heard me mention my sisters situation. He called me and said, I want to help your sister. He gave her a place to stay for as long as she needed - rent free.
Today my sister and her husband bought a brand new house and now live in Mays Landing, they just had their first baby on Sunday. But it's people like Roy, who should be thanked when thinking back to the storm.
I remember being on the radio that day, taking calls from people who didn't know where to go, or what to do or what they were going to see when they got home. Our Townsquare team provided the eyes and ears of the storm that day and I was proud to be a part of it.
Radio can be a competitive industry but on that day all five of our radio stations came together to provide what I hope was helpful coverage.
Harry Hurley, Joe Kelly, Eddie Davis, Tom Morgan, Heather DeLuca, Gary Guida, Chris Coleman, Tom McNally, Todd Ranck, Kyle McCann, George Dunner and more people behind the scenes helped make what we did on air sound like we had a plan and executed it to perfection - believe me we did not.
What we did do was do our best to try and provide South Jersey information and comfort during what was the biggest natural disaster of my lifetime.
One year later, we don't celebrate, but we remember, not to take our area, our homes or our lives for granted.
So join 97.3 ESPN FM, South Jersey Sports Leader as we stand together and remember what happened and look-ahead and prepare for the future.
97.3 ESPN is hosting a “moment of light” ceremony on Tuesday, October 29th from5-7pm at Trump Taj Mahal on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. If you have per-registered at 973espn.com, you’ll receive a “Light Up New Jersey” flashlight or you are welcome to walk up with your own flashlight. At the designated time, all Townsquare New Jersey stations will shine our flashlights in to the sky to recognize the occasion.