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Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider Recalls the Night of Hurricane Sandy

Mayor issues Code Red message about storm

 

Over the last two weeks, Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider has been keeping city residents up to date on the recovery process for Hurricane Sandy through the Code Red alert message system

On Thursday night, Mayor Schneider decided to give his thoughts on the hurricane, the evacuation process and had high praise for the city's emergency officials.

Here is Mayor Schneider's message to Long Branch residents on Thursday night:

Mandatory evacuation didn’t mean everyone had to leave. Saturday October 27, two days before Sandy struck, a meeting of emergency services management was held at city hall.

Evacuation orders had been issued for everyone east of Ocean Boulevard, and North Long Branch from essentially from Avenel Avenue to Monmouth Beach. Despite the legal right to order people out of their homes for the duration of the storm, city officials decided that while we strongly recommended people get themselves out of harms way we wouldn’t force the issue.

We publicly stated that there would come a point on Monday when city personal would be pulled off the streets rather than endanger their safety. Even with the horrific weather reports we didn’t expect the situation to turn so dangerous so quickly.

By 5 o’clock in the afternoon the ocean was coming down Atlantic and Avenel Avenues and the river was over its banks. The lifesaving station at Takanassee Lake was surrounded by water. High tide was three hours away.

The water surged over the banks of the river while four foot wakes were braking on Long Branch Avenue. What time it hit depended on where you live.

Wind was gusting up to 80 miles an hour and debris and trees were crashing all over. City crews in the large army surplus vehicles we’ve purchased just for storm use were out in 4 to 6 feet of water pulling people to safety.

Cops, paid fireman, DPW workers and volunteers were tying themselves to the trucks swimming and wading into the cold water to get people from their homes. The trucks were literally floating at one point on Long Branch Avenue but fortunately everyone made their way out of the water and back to fire headquarters.

We’re very fortunate that no lives were lost that night. People in town need to know that fireman, cops and OEM were out that night risking their lives.

I don’t know that we’ll ever face a storm as severe as Sandy again but extreme weather is happening more often. People who were rescued have told me that they’re not waiting to leave next time. They’ll get out voluntarily.

Peter Koenig November 16, 2012 at 06:18 PM
And our thanks to Mayor Schneider for his uplifting and useful daily phone messages - and for keeping after JCP&L! Never thought I'd be pleased to hear a politician's voice on a robocall ... first time for everything.
Carol November 16, 2012 at 11:33 PM
God bless Mayor Schneider for standing on the front line to save & protect the people of his town, for kicking JCP& L in the can to getmoving & a big thanks to his family for understanding the job he needed to get done & the long hours away from them. Thanks to the heroic rescue workers who risked their lives to save others,. Thanks to the thousands of utility workers who left their nice save warm home to come here in the freezing cold to help us. Thanks to the OEM team for all the information, water, ice, batteries & encouragement when things looked its darkest. Thanks to the National Guard for rescuing people & pets. Thanks to the American Red Cross for all the hot meals, warm blankets. Thanks to the Salvation Army for jumping in where needed & never turning anyone away no matter what. Bottom line--- Thank You All from the bottom of our hearts, we would not be here right now if it were not for each & every one of you!
Momof4 November 17, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Can i just say i enjoy the Mayors messages and look forward to them. It's nice to hear what he has to say and i love that he keeps us informed. Great job :)
Markith November 18, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Everyone should thank God that Brian Unger wasn't mayor at a time like this. I can only imagine the mess that would have ensued would have been epic. Thank you Mayor for a job well done when the city needed it most.
Harold Hastings November 21, 2012 at 02:51 AM
can anyone tell me how to opt out of code red and the mayors daily update. While I appreciate it I would like to not have to answer my phone and listen to these anymore. thank you

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