New Jersey coastal town turned to "devastation"

    Just Watched

    New Jersey town hit hard by Sandy

New Jersey town hit hard by Sandy 02:40

Story highlights

  • Rescuers dragged about 200 stranded people to safety
  • But many are left with damaged homes or tales of narrow espapes
  • It's just devastation everywhere," resident says

Some of the destructive waters have receded in New Jersey's Toms River and the heavy lifting has begun.

Using boats, and trucks, rescuers dragged about 200 stranded people to safety away from the waterlogged town and the devastated barrier islands.

But many of those saved, in that coastal town in the footsteps of Manhattan, took with them not only their pets and whatever keepsakes they could muster. They take with them the memories of the savage night Sandy came.

Esther Sarabella and her mother found themselves trapped in their car with flood waters up to their necks Monday night.

Grueling recovery begins on the East Coast

"You don't know, you don't know where to go, you're trying to get out of the window, you're up to your neck in water. It's freezing, the wind is blowing," said the still shaken woman. "I got a dog, I got my mother. You don't know what's going to happen. You see your life pass. You're in shock. Everybody's in shock. We never thought it was going to be this bad. Ever."

    Just Watched

    What Sandy left in its wake - Day 2

What Sandy left in its wake - Day 2 01:50
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    New Jersey's stranded rescued

New Jersey's stranded rescued 02:33
PLAY VIDEO

    Just Watched

    Waves lapping into New Jersey surf club

Waves lapping into New Jersey surf club 02:26
PLAY VIDEO

Hers is another tale of woe that came on the powerful winds of Superstorm Sandy. The storm rushed in Monday drenching the East Coast, flooding streets from North Carolina to Vermont. Millions are still left without power and the calamity spawned fires that torched dozens of homes in New York. At least 33 were killed in the United States after the same storm killed 67 in the Caribbean last week.

    Sandy changes lives forever

    There were no deaths in Toms River, but still people there are telling their own tale of misery. Waters rose so high in some places that people had to be rescued from second floor windows.

    "It was total chaos over there," Toms River patrolman Chris Raia said. "We had a complete breach over there. I don't think there was an area over there last night that was not covered by water."

    Rescue efforts in Toms River and nearby Seaside were hampered by high waters. Late Tuesday there was a line of firetrucks, ambulances and other rescue vehicles waiting for the roadways to clear enough to search for others that could be stranded.

    "One street away from me, houses have water coming in them," said Keith Paul, a resident. "Boats washed up in the middle of the highway. It's just devastation everywhere."

    How to help

        Superstorm Sandy

      • A mother learns that her newborn is part of a hospital evacuation. Facebook posts from a member of the HMS Bounty turn ominous. A man worries about the wind and rain, but another force of nature hits home.
      • In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a storm that ripped so much apart, people have come together to provide help and hope.

        Tourists become volunteer rescue workers. The connected provide power outlets and Wi-Fi. Performers lift spirits. Photographers preserve images. Doctors work overtime to keep hospitals running and patients alive.
      • Despite a mangled phone screen, volunteer Candice Osborne is able to quickly respond to the needs of Superstorm Sandy victims with the help of social media.

        It has been in operation only since October 30, but the Facebook page for "Giving back to those affected by Sandy" has a longer timeline than most Facebook members.
      • Steph Goralnick

        It's important to remember that even as the effect of Superstorm Sandy recedes from the news, there are still devastated areas that are without electricity, heat or hot water.
      • Americares volunteers help clean out flood damaged homes in Queens, New York during Operation "Muck-Out"

        Our AmeriCares "Operation Muck-Out" team immediately got to work, ripping out the interior walls and removing the insulation until only wooden beams were standing.
      • exp point harlow murray sandy_00013211

        Ashley Murray became the first female president of Liberty Industrial Gases and Welding Supplies Inc. in Brooklyn. But now the family history Murray was charged with preserving is at risk of ending after Superstorm Sandy.
      • Jeannette Van Houten and other residents of Union Beach, New Jersey, have found family photos such as this one scattered after Superstorms Sandy. They want to return them to their rightful owners.

        The adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words," but when Leeann Lewandowski happened upon a photograph of her late mother on Facebook after her home was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy, she was speechless.