Take a tour of Little Silver after Hurricane Sandy’s devastating visit and true hardship is put into perspective.
Streets like Point Road and Paag Lane are coated in a thick brown sludge with dried river reeds covering driveways and, in some cases, family rooms. After a while, the sight of giant trees, uprooted and toppled onto yards, begins to look commonplace. And the smell, oh a smell that rivals the lowest of tides in August hits you full in the face as you make your way through the flood damaged neighborhoods.
Way out at the end of Point Road, a section called Silvermere sustained maybe some of the worst damage in the borough.
Lisa Laton of Manalapan was sifting through the contents of her aunt’s home that were spread out on the front lawn. The modest ranch that sits just a few feet away from the Shrewsbury River sustained extensive damage from the hurricane. All of the glass in the back of the small house was blown out, masonry lays scattered on the lawn and tattered curtains blow in the breeze.
“I knew it was bad,” she said she thought when her aunt asked her to survey the damage. “I just didn’t think it would be like this.”
The Cassidys, who live in a one-tory house at the tip of Alwin Terrace have a similar story. “It’s destroyed, “ Tara Cassidy said of the house her family has owned along the river for five years whose interior and exterior was decimated by winds and water and was hit by a large tree for good measure.
Bob Gorman, whose house on Paag Lane had about seven feet of water in the basement, said the water broke through his garage and rushed down the basement steps on Monday night while he and his family watched from upstairs.
His neighbor Chris Smith said the whole neighborhood was three feet under water that night and the water rose as high as the doorhandles on their cars. He pointed to a dock sitting in his driveway and added, “We lost a dock and gained a dock.”
“It could be so much worse,” said Anne Connell, who had a team of folks helping her clean up and pump out St. John's Nursery School on Point Road where water still filled the basement level of the building on Wednesday morning where preschoolers usually fill two classrooms.
Connell pointed to the water still visible at the bottom of the stairway and said that it rose almost to the top step at the height of the storm, which would have taken out classrooms on the main floor as well. Connell pointed to stacks of toys and classroom equipment that had been pulled up before the storm and said that they would set up makeshift classes in the church’s meeting area while repairs were made to the flood affected parts of the building.
Rachel Marrin, who moved to Breezy Point in Little Silver from Myrtle Avenue in Oceanport on Friday, now has two houses with hurricane damage. “We know how to pick ‘em,” she joked of the three feet of water that filled the neighborhood Monday night.
Back on Alwin, Doug Johnson, who has a neighbor’s dock and swingset upended in his backyard and interior water damage in his house, said that what was even mor devastating was losing many of his family's treasured photos in the storm. “That’s what hurts.”