It was two weeks today that Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore as part of her destructive path which has directly impacted the lives of so many while indirectly effecting just about everyone who calls Ocean and Monmouth County home.

Ruth Hawfield sits next to her cot in a Red Cross evacuation shelter set up in the gymnasium of Toms River High School North. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

For the most part schools will return to normal today although some are closed for Veteran’s Day. Many were safe havens for thousands of residents who had to leave their homes before Sandy unleashed her fury and who knows what would have happened too many of those people without the shelter area schools provided.

Now students can return after what was for most an unplanned two-week break and hopefully that will provide some normalcy for so many who won’t know the true meaning of the word for a long time to come.

As we have said so many times the silver lining in all of this has been the overwhelming outpouring of neighbor helping neighbor as the volunteer spirit is alive and well at the Jersey Shore. The reality is that in a short time much of that will fade away but the need will not, especially for those whose barrier island homes may be off limits for at least half a year.

There will also be a domino effect on a much wider area due to unemployment, lost tax revenue, overtimes costs for towns and who knows what the next tourism season will bring. That’s all for another day. Today we still offer a hand to those that need it.

The NJSIAA Football Playoffs will get underway this weekend and include some unfamiliar faces. 28 of the 43 Shore Conference High School football teams have qualified for the expanded and watered-down playoffs and that group includes Jackson Liberty, Toms River South and Lakewood.

Liberty is in for the first time in school history, the Indians qualify for the first time since 2006 and it’s been a decade since the Piners were playoff bound. Undefeated Lacey is the #2 seed in South Jersey Group 4 and will host Toms River South Saturday while Ocean County’s other undefeated team Point Pleasant Beach is seeded second in Central Jersey Group 1 and will open Friday night at home against South River.

Also qualifying for the playoffs were Southern, Toms River North, Barnegat, Point Boro, Brick Memorial and Monsignor Donovan.