Towards a Resilient Rhode Island:

Responding to climate change with leadership, innovation, and economic development

Sandy Impact

After the storm...

Water filling the street
Debris in the back yard
A boat in the back yard

Photographs courtesy of Jim and Maryanna Nameth

Jim and Maryanna Nameth, Bricktown, NJ

Jim and Maryanna Nameth live in what they like to call a small “river cottage” right on the Metedeconck River in Bricktown, NJ. The Metedeconck River feeds water directly into Barnegat Bay. Their house faces south/east, directly toward the Mantoloking Bridge. This bridge became infamous during Sandy because this was where the storm formed a new inlet from the ocean into the bay. Here is their story…

“We stayed at home the night of Super Storm Sandy because we were confident we would be safe. We had weathered many storms in our home; the most recent was Hurricane Irene not so long before. Our township did not require a mandatory evacuation that night so we felt fine to stay! And we were fine to stay until that terrible breach. Naturally we had no utilities power, so it was dark, it was raining, and it was so,so,so windy! The water was rising quickly in the river, in our basement, and around our house. But the strangest and the scariest thing were the pounding sounds we heard as well! ”

“When all subsided by the next day, we were awestruck by the amount of debris that littered our property, and in fact, our entire neighborhood. So, that was the pounding sounds we heard! There were boats everywhere. One was actually in our trees! We had three, yes three refrigerators in our driveway. But beyond our comprehension was the question, ‘where did all of this lumber and ‘stuff’ come from? ’”

“It was a few days later, because of no TV or telephone contact, that we finally learned about how devastating the storm was and how many homes were lost. Mantoloking homes were literally swept away!”

“Fast forward… weeks…even months went by and there we were, still working, still cleaning, still picking up, and still restoring. On and on and on! When we realized what we were ‘cleaning up’ off of our property, it was unbelievable to accept. All of the debris had to be remains of people’s lives! This was too much to handle.”

“One day, our next door neighbor told us he found a wallet among the debris he was cleaning up. He discovered an old wallet with what looked like some old identification. We were all curious, so he investigated and unbelievably was able to track down the owner of the old ID card. It turned out that the ID belonged to a retired executive living in NYC. He told our neighbor that he and his wife had a summerhouse in Mantoloking. It disappeared during the storm, and our neighbor’s contact was the very first news as to what had happened to his home. Can you imagine? We knew what happened to his home because it washed up in our neighborhood!”

After almost one and a half years, Jim and Maryanna Nameth are doing OK. They are still dealing with insurance issues and restoration issues, but as they say, “we are fine and luckier than most putting it all back together in our little ‘river cottages’.”