So, Hurricane Sandy came, and Hurricane Sandy went.
She struck with her most ferocity along the New Jersey and New York coasts, but she certainly lobbed a few roundhouses at us on her way up the shore. Sandy was indeed a formidable foe, leaving behind a path of flooding, downed trees and general debris, while closing schools and offices, chasing people to emergency shelters and generally putting life on hold for a few days.
But here we are.
We’re digging out. We’re seeing emergency crews turning back on the lights and working on our roads. The sun made a grand appearance Wednesday morning, and the people of our little coastal oasis were beginning to work their way back to normalcy.
That’s what we do around here, isn’t it? Be it nor’easter or hurricane, tragic automobile accidents or sickness, this community rallies around each other, chips in when help is needed and rises to the light whenever it seems darkest. Oh, we are left with bruises and tears, waste and damage, but still we move forward with a purpose — stopping to lend a hand to someone who needs it along the way.
It makes me very proud to call this place home.
Those of you who follow us on Facebook no doubt saw incredible participation from the people of this community in keeping people informed of what was happening here during and after the storm. It was invaluable to those who own second homes here, local students who are now studying somewhere else and people who might have grown up here, but now find themselves living somewhere else. The outpouring of photos and stories helped those people feel more connected to the area, and gave them a general idea on how we were responding.
In that vein, and knowing that it sounds like I’m tooting our own horn, I have to give some kudos to the staff here at the Point for their efforts during the storm. M. Patricia Titus, our news editor, manned the Facebook page for close to 20 hours one day, and constantly had her hand in providing updates throughout the storm — well, until a tree fell on her home and took out her power. What a wimp. One tree falls on her house after putting in more than 50 hours of work over a three-day period and she has to stop working ...
But I digress.
Obviously, Tricia was our Facebook warrior for much of our time covering the storm live, but she was far from alone in her efforts. When she needed to steal some sleep or get something to eat or, well, attend to her child, reporters Laura Walter and Maria Counts jumped in to fill the void. Monica Scott, our reporter and editor of our “Going Green” publication, ran the Web site and kept things humming on that end. That is, when the three of them weren’t out themselves covering Sandy and all her glory.
Our face to the public during much of the worst parts of the storm was our photographer, R. Chris Clark. The words “lunatic” and “nuts” were used often between staff members when talking about Chris’ forays into the storm, and Tricia commented to me on Tuesday that Chris was taking shots from angles that “no typical journalist would take.”
He was brave. He was relentless. And he was a pro’s pro. That doesn’t necessarily make up for the just-awful attire he was sporting during the storm, but, hey, you can’t have everything, right?
Never one to sit on the sidelines for long, our beloved publisher Susan Lyons took to the streets with her sister, Jodi Thompson (who I still believe is waaaay older than I am), and the two of them hit the inland towns with cameras in hand. Many of their photos were posted quickly to Facebook, and received a lot of feedback from people who had concerns on their properties in those areas. Granted, I have a theory that they were actually out hoping to discover a hurricane yard sale, but I can not confirm that at this time.
It took a village to get the word out on what was happening down here during the storm, and it will take that same village to get us cleaned up and running full speed again. While we worked our tails off here, there is no way we could have provided the kind of information we were able to without the incredible input provided by our readers and neighbors.
We thank you for your support and help with covering the storm, and pledge to continue to do our best in the future.