Surviving Sandy - Hoboken, N.J.
An Anniversary Not to be Forgotten
To Matt Lockhart ’07 and Elizabeth Mills Lockhart ’07, it seems only fitting they celebrated their first wedding anniversary – Oct. 29 – in Hoboken with Hurricane Sandy. One year earlier, a surprise storm dropped 19 inches of snow on their wedding day.
“We’ve received a lot of phone calls asking us what’s in store for us next year,” Beth Lockhart laughs.
From their third-floor apartment, the couple watched the city sit in darkness for four days before seeking refuge at the home of Pat Lockhart ’93, Matt’s brother.
Despite no heat or water, and sustained by leftovers, the couple consider themselves fortunate considering water reached the third step of their apartment’s stairwell. The couple’s positive outlook is remarkable given their Volkswagon Rabbit didn’t survive the raging waters.
When the water finally receded, the Lockharts – joined by a fellow tenant they hardly knew – hiked to Weehawkin, N.J., where all three stayed at Pat’s house. “We put on our galoshes, pulled garbage bags up around our pants, and walked a mile or so looking at all the damage,” Lockhart says.
Months later Hoboken is still recovering says Georgia Rose ’09, who lives in a fifth-floor apartment with Kathleen Reedy ’09 and Meg Hess ’09. Since Hoboken has a history of flooding, and all three alumnae work in health care professions, they left town before the storm and stayed with their parents. When they returned the following week, the area was still in disarray. “I don’t think any of us were really prepared to see how much damage had been done,” Rose recalls. “It was so odd to see the National Guard driving right outside of our apartment.”
Thanks to its young demographic, Hoboken is home to many restaurants and businesses. The storm closed many of them for weeks, and the once bustling neighborhood was noticeably quiet. Instead of passers-by, the streets were filled with discarded beds, clothes, furniture and personal effects.
“It was like everyone’s belongings were on the curb,” Hess says. “Basically their entire apartments – their whole lives – were thrown out on the curb. You felt for these people. It is heartbreaking to see that these people lost so much.”
The garbage stayed on the sidewalks for weeks, moldy reminders of what people had lost.