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Largest Collection of New Jersey Superstorm Sandy Oral Histories Released

The recording of personal histories is increasingly viewed by researchers and members of the public as a vital source of information. Everyone has a story to tell, and oral history recognizes the importance of personal experiences in understanding our shared past. The purpose of this project is to document personal testimonies related to Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy Oral History Collection Excerpts

“Well, I will first own up to the fact that I stayed in my home through the hurricane — it was the stupidest thing I ever did.” -Patricia Armstrong, Seaside Park

“I would like to thank you and Monmouth University for doing this. It’s a big task, and I think this kind of study of the storm is important because it will get a sense of the whole thing. You read in the paper about one town and then an article about another town. This might give it a nice broad approach, and I think people enjoy it. If nothing else, it’s a document that in hundred years will still be around.” -Tom Gallo, Keyport, NJ

“The people that are running our insurance companies and the businesses — I am very, very disappointed, and I am very angry because I do not understand the logic behind putting a profit before the well-being and safety of our people… the base of your business. To me that’s just inconsiderable really.” -Elaine Ponterio, Union Beach

“[There were] people on jet skis and people on boats and stealing the gas… and it’s not like these are poor people. I told this guy I didn’t even know, ‘I used to say when I was younger if you push a person to an extreme you’ll find out what he is’; if you give people the slightest push you’ll find out what they are. It’s disgusting to me; it really was.” -Richard Pastore, Brick, NJ.

“It’s easy to judge people who have a different background from mine; but, then again, when something as powerful as a natural disaster occurs — it makes everybody equal. Everybody’s fending for themselves. Everybody’s in the same danger. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you came from — you’re just as equally in that danger. You know nothing is going to save you unless it’s a helping hand or someone that’s going to go above and beyond. So, the storm has definitely put everything in perspective.” -Thomas (TJ) Manzo, Jr, Oceanport, NJ

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