There's been so much that's transpired since Sandy hit the East Coast - so many images, so many stories -- it's just now that we're really starting to process it all and come to grips with the human drama that we watched unfold after the storm. We first started by documenting how Brooklyn had been hit. Then we continued into Rockaway and Staten Island, and on to New Jersey. Our hope and desire over the next several weeks is to tell the story of what we witnessed.
The morning after Sandy hit, the Jersey Shore was decimated and no one fully yet understood the extent of the damage. Lt. Frank Docherty, S.E.R.T. Commander, asked for volunteers from the Brick Police Department to go with him onto the barrier island, assess the damage and assist survivors. There were only two points of entry onto the barrier islands, and this one, the Mantoloking Bridge had been largely washed away and was accessible only by foot. These 8 Officers walked over the Bridge in the early morning hours of October 30th, and what they witnessed defied any semblance of anything they had ever seen or dealt with in their careers. There were few reference points to even recognize where they were. Landmarks were gone - buildings were gone. In fact, the coastline that they knew was gone. They waded through waist-high water, mud, sand and debris. They fought though downed power lines, broken gas mains, raging fires and for each one of them every moment was a life and death situation; at every moment their very lives were in danger. Yet they walked onwards, doing as much as their bare hands and their commitment to their fellow human beings would allow.
Their walk began on this Bridge on the morning of October 30th and it still continues today as they whole-heartedly, with every ounce of resolve are committed to restoring their community. Talk about Heroes....