Superstorm Sandy’s Miracle Survivor: One Of My Most Enduring Radio Memories
Anybody who was living at the Jersey Shore 8 years ago will always remember Superstorm Sandy. Not just the storm itself, but of course the destruction that it wreaked across the Shore.
I'll always remember hunkering down in the old WOBM studios in Bayville, the sound of the wind howling through the huge antenna structure outside, and the rotating slate of us who stayed on the air to give out information and take your calls.
But if I had to pick a single thing that will always stick with me, it's what I simply refer to as, "The Note".
The short version of the backstory is that I got a text message from a friend with the following attachment, a handwritten note that he told me was found in a Toms River house that was flooded out by the raging storm:
It's literally the note of a person who believed that they were dying.
I get goosebumps when I remember getting that message.
At first, I didn't know what to do with it. Was it a hoax? Was it legitimate? As a responsible broadcaster what should I do, report the story or leave it to the authorities to look into?
I first called the Toms River Police, who told me that they weren't aware of the situation.
So, I did the next obvious thing - I called the phone number on the note.
On my second try, someone picked up, the father of the man who wrote the note.
As for the man who wrote the note, he had survived and was amazingly there when I called.
I started recording our conversation, here's the original call:
What followed was a flurry of activity; calls from reporters, news producers, talk show producers, and on.
I actually ended up getting to meet Mike in person about a year and a half later during the filming of a special for The Weather Channel.
It boggles my mind that it was 8 years ago, but I will always remember the whole thing like it was yesterday.