First responders, survivors remember Superstorm Sandy after seeing Ian destruction in Florida

After seeing images of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Ian in Florida, those who survived and worked rescuing those who rode out Sandy, are remembering that storm.

News 12 Staff

Sep 30, 2022, 12:29 PM

Updated 570 days ago

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It has been almost 10 years since Superstorm Sandy destroyed much of the Jersey Shore. The storm surge flooded homes further inland and inundated everything in its path. 
Seeing images of the destruction left behind by Hurricane Ian in Florida is bringing back memories for those who survived and worked rescuing those who rode out Sandy. 
Mantoloking Mayor Lance White says looking at the images out of Florida brings back what happened on Oct. 29, 2012. 
“You feel for these people because they’re going to have a tough road ahead, but they will get through it,” says White. “You feel like it was yesterday.” 
White’s town, a barrier island, was left completely ruined. 
“Where we were standing, 2 feet of water, all kinds of debris, concrete foundations, furniture,” reflects White. “You name it, it was in these streets.” 
When comparing the destruction of Sandy in Ocean County to Ian in southwest Florida, it was the storm surge that left the biggest mark. 
Sandy first responder Ron Gaskill spent the night of Sandy’s landfall rescuing people who didn't heed the warnings to evacuate. Three miles inland across the Barnegat Bay in Brick Township, Sandy’s surge rushed in. 
“The water and the wind,” says Gaskill. “We had to take boats, front-end loaders, anything basically we can get our hands on to get people out.” 
Brick Township Fire Chief Joe Licandro says the surge from Sandy came in fast. 
“By the time the surge happened, it was too late,” recalls Licandro. “We had to back out of some of the situations we were in because the water was coming that fast.” 
Sandy severely damaged White’s home. He understands the feelings Floridians will feel when they see their property for the first time. He offered these encouraging words. 
“You can come out on the other side, but it’s going to take resilience...vision…a will of steel,” says White. “It’s a long process, but it can be done.” 


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