On the Air During Hurricane Sandy [50 Memories in 50 Days]
It was Sunday, October 28th and we were beginning to get more of an idea of just how powerful Hurricane Sandy might be when it reached us here at the Jersey Shore. I decided to drive up to our then Bayville Studios, so I could pick up our station vehicle because it was better for bad weather than the car I had at the time. It was during Topic A with Bob Levy and during a program break Bob and I stood outside and talked about the upcoming storm. Winds were already picking up that Sunday morning, but I don't think we really thought yet that the storm would impact us as much as it would.
Sunday night we began to get a better idea of the storm that was impending, so I packed up my gear and headed in early to our WOBM Studios.
We began on the air Monday morning when the storm was moving in and stayed on until 10 a.m., then stayed at the studios as the storm intensified. I had my sleeping bag and Sue actually dragged a mattress into the building and brought her dog too because no one was at her home to watch her! We had a bunch of supplies and we were ready to ride out the storm.
Looking back, it wasn't until later in the afternoon that we made the decision to go back on the air and stay on for a few hours. Of course, as nightfall occurred the second wave of the storm hit and that's when we really started to see problems. We began getting calls from listeners, who at that point had no power, cell, or cable, so WOBM was the place for updates and information. What we decided to do was take listener phone calls (those who had service) and find out what was happening in the towns around the Jersey Shore.
We received calls from listeners who were in the dark, some dealing with flooded homes, reports of fires, some from their cars and we even had calls from residents who were stranded in their attics because the home had filled with water. It was a true disaster and for many residents a life-changing event. It was easily the worst storm I have ever been through living here at the shore for over 40 years.
One other challenging thing was that I wasn't home to help out and I kept getting info from home on just how close the water was getting to our neighborhood. In fact, many on my street suffered complete losses due to flooding. Luckily both Sue and I had no major storm damage, with the exception of downed trees.
We were glad to have been able to at least keep listeners company and informed throughout the storm and many tell us it was the late night show we did that helped get them through a very stormy night. God forbid it ever happens again, but when you need us next time WOBM will be there!
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