0:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence and today is July thirteenth and it's roughly 12:30 p.m. Can you state your name please?

GEORGE EVANS: My name is George Evans.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And your age?

GEORGE EVANS: I'm fifty-five, I'll be fifty-six in October. [editor's note: Evans was fifty-six at the time of the interview.]

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And for the record, can you state your ethnicity?

GEORGE EVANS: I guess white?

(Trudi laughs)

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How long have you lived in your home?

GEORGE EVANS: Full time, since 1988.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And what was roughly the cost of the home when you purchased it?

GEORGE EVANS: $125,000.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And how many rooms are in the house?

GEORGE EVANS: My house, roughly, was--nine rooms.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Is there any specific reason why you chose that house in particular?

1:00

GEORGE EVANS: Yes, that house was my wife's parents' house. They were killed in a car accident in 1981. And we purchased the home from her siblings.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Is there any particular reason, other than the parents, why you chose to live in that neighborhood?

GEORGE EVANS: My parents bought a summer home in 1966, right across the lagoon, and I love Tuckerton, so--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Tell me about your family. Who makes up your family? Who lives in your house?

GEORGE EVANS: Currently, right now--do you want before the storm or as of right now? Right now I don't have a house because my house was destroyed.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, before the storm.

GEORGE EVANS: Before the storm, it was my wife and my son and I.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And your occupation?

GEORGE EVANS: I'm a IT manager.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and how long have you been doing that?

GEORGE EVANS: Oh, since 1994.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and if you don't mind sharing, what would you say 2:00roughly your income bracket would be?

GEORGE EVANS: Our family bracket?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: About 160,000.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. What do you like about living in New Jersey?

GEORGE EVANS: I like living in South Jersey, on the Jersey coast. It provides me the opportunity to have a beautiful, surreal environment. I can have peace at night, I can enjoy the calmness when needed, and I'm not involved in the rat race. I can go drive to a rat race, but where I live it's not a rat race. I enjoy living in small-town USA, which Tuckerton is.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And where do you usually spend most of your free time 3:00hanging out?

GEORGE EVANS: (coughs) Most of my free time is at home or with being the mayor of town, around with residents in town.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Tell me more about your neighborhood and the community. I know you're the mayor, but what other involvements do you have within the community?

GEORGE EVANS: As in?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Whether it be a parent, PTO organizations--

GEORGE EVANS: Some of the other organizations I'm involved with is the Tuckerton Beach Association. It's a volunteer organization of members who really strive to improve Tuckerton, and actually the Tuckerton beach area. Also I'm a member of the Masonic Lodge here in Tuckerton. And also the mayor of the town. There's 4:00only certain things that your time can--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. Tell me more about the community of Tuckerton, like the schools, the crime. The crime rate if there's any at all, any reputations or anything that community holds within itself?

GEORGE EVANS: We're very fortunate. Our crime rate is very minimal. We're a close-knit community. If people see things that are out of the norm, they quick make a phone call. Like I said before, it's small-town USA, so people would know who's there, who's not. You're still going to have that problem, some crime and drugs anywhere. We're surrounded by a large community and other communities. Close enough to Atlantic City, you know, where there's always traffic of things 5:00going by, or where people will go get things and bring them back. Now going to our school, Tuckerton Elementary School is a K through six, with the nice part about Tuckerton is the class sizes. We're proud to say, you know, they're twenty and under for the different grades. For years it was one of the higher ranking schools around. Due to certain population changes and different state rules they're no longer in the highest ranking, we've come down to the mid level. It's not because of the teachers, it's just because of the--different residents have moved into the community

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: We're trying to teach them certain languages in schools.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So now we're going to move into talking about the storm. When did you first hear the storm was coming?

6:00

GEORGE EVANS: Hm. I would have to say I started having phone calls over notifying or communication a week before the storm.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: Started having daily phone calls with the governor's office from Wednesday on.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And what were your first thoughts about the storm?

GEORGE EVANS: From everything we were told, this was not going to be good. Do you want water or anything? You're welcome to it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: No.

GEORGE EVANS: Okay. And with that there, we started putting in preparation that this could be the worst storm we would ever see. We were notified even constantly, so it kept on coming and coming. The storm came up, that we might be receiving some of the heaviest devastation there will be. On Wednesday we were 7:00basically told that the storm would be coming. We were in the range in that area where the second phase of the storm would probably impact us the most. With three days of tidal flooding prior, we knew we were going to have some problems, because we had the full moon, the high tide all at the wrong time.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How did you prepare? What did you do in particular to prepare as best as you could?

GEORGE EVANS: (coughs) As mayor we have a full, complete emergency management team. We started having meetings with Emergency Management Coordinator Harold Spedding and we put into our preparation in place, through the police, the public works, the communications out through the town, to the residents, 8:00verbally to people, verbally to civic organizations, that this was not going to be good. And also through media, electronic media, through Facebook, through our web page, through Nixle, which is text messaging--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: We were completely--Tuckerton was prepared. Not all the residents took heed, but we were prepared.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, well that goes into my next question, do you believe there was adequate warning about what this storm would be?

GEORGE EVANS: Yes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And what do you think of the governor and his warnings as well?

GEORGE EVANS: They were there. The governor--we had all the information, we had the right, we had the proper information being provided to us, constant updates. So there was nothing, no information held back.

9:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: We knew what was coming and that's how we prepared for it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. And what about preparations for maybe cars, shelters, animals?

GEORGE EVANS: We followed the procedures that we have in place. There was communications with our shelters at the Pinelands Middle School, which also houses animals. All those plans were put in place. As mayor I turned that over to our emergency management coordinator, which was his responsibility.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: And he provided me the feedback and that's a regional center. And everything, all the preparation, plans were put in place.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Take me through the first day of the storm. Where were you when you actually saw first sights of the storm?

GEORGE EVANS: This office is my mayor's office. I had set my command center up here. And here's where I directed my staff, out of here. The emergency 10:00management office was up there in the Grist Mill and part of the Borough Hall. This was Monday, from Monday morning on.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: I would actually say we were actually preparing for the storm going forth on Sunday, when we had the high tides and it was that bad I signed the emergency declaration for evacuation for Tuckerton beach and areas. At that point I put our town on disaster status. So yes, from that point on, this was my command center except for my last night of sleeping in my house was that Monday night. (laughs) Or I should say, Sunday night.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and what were the conditions of the weather? Was it rainy? Was it windy?

11:00

GEORGE EVANS: The rain started--we had the high tides. Because we had our normal flooding and the tides hadn't come back. We had some winds at the time. This was prior to the storm hitting, we had the fronts of it. Our normal high tide--our normal low tide on Monday afternoon were about 5 foot high, higher, already flooding the roads down by the beach area. I actually have some pictures if you ever want to see them, or I could put them on a CD if you want to take them. I have the pictures of all the disaster homes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, yes.

GEORGE EVANS: So with that there, let me get back to your question. The winds for us started, or the heavy rain started, about 6 a.m. And it was on-and-off period, and they continued to start and stop as any hurricane would be. The 12:00winds were sustained over eighty miles an hour, eighty miles an hour plus, for about four hours on, and then off for an hour. Then things came to a complete havoc, I would say around 4:30, between 4:30 and 6 p.m. In that time frame, there was so much going on that I actually made the call that I want all police and all my public works employees inside. It was just not safe, and we had telephone poles starting to go all over, we had electrical lines and power and transmission boxes just blowing up.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. (clears throat)

GEORGE EVANS: At that point we brought it in till it was safe. Then we had some winds subside, and we were able to see what we could do, if needed. We were 13:00receiving calls for people asking for us to get down there, and help them get out. At some point we had to sort of say, We can't take you down there. We were directing calls to whatever, our fire company was trying to get as many people out who did not adhere, to the, as we say, "mandatory evacuation." Nothing is mandatory. We had to fill that paperwork out so that, you know, basically we could sort of say, Hey, we provided the information, we provided you the warning. With this here, if we can't come get you, I'm sorry. I pray that you're hear the next day.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. (clears throat) So who else were you speaking to, apart from emergency personnel, to get information about what was occurring in the town?

GEORGE EVANS: It was just my public works and emergency personnel.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: We had communications by the police radio and our internal hand radios.

14:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you sleep that night, at all?

GEORGE EVANS: I had about an hour of sleep between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And would that be around the time that you'd say that the immediate storm ended?

GEORGE EVANS: The heavy presence of the storm probably really ended for us about 2:30 a.m., between 2:00 and 2:15. That's when it was safe to be able to go outside. Still the rains were there, not as heavy. The winds were not as hard. As we say here, we had the reverse effect. We had the winds coming one way, then we had the--as they call it, you know, the curvature of the storm--where the 15:00reverse winds were even higher, and that's what caused a lot of our devastation. That's when we received the high water wall that came through and hit us. That's when the tremendous waves came through part of our town, destroyed over fifty-some homes, just wiped them off the face of the earth.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Hm. What was going through your head during the storm and when you woke up the next morning?

GEORGE EVANS: Well, it wasn't much sleep, like I said. Basically, I just rested my eyes. My mind, that I had seen with the magnitude of the storm, was just praying that there was not any loss of life. I was concerned. We knew residents who had asked to come out, that we had to tell that, We can't come get you. And you worry about that next day, and that was some of our goals to be able to get 16:00down to them to see if they were there, and still safe.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: When you went outside, what was the first thing that you saw? What were you seeing?

GEORGE EVANS: At what time?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: When did you go outside? What time did you go outside?

GEORGE EVANS: I was outside from all different times, (Trudi laughs) in and out. You know, what you could say from the start of the storm--just massive, horrendous weather. Just what you would see in a normal hurricane or a massive storm. The winds, the rain, the sheer devastation, praying that, you know, all these poles going down, that we don't have a fire. You know, all this type of stuff. Then when you're in a storm, that's all you can do. When the storm's out, 17:00then you go into, not a recovery mode, but an inspection mode, of, Where are we? How's the town?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: We were without power, and the most part of the town, we were fortunate. This area of the town, power was restored pretty early. We were lucky with that. In the beach area, there was no power, because the flooding, because of the possibility of fires, there was no power turned back on. We made that call, no power. It just wasn't safe. And because of those actions, we didn't have what happened up in Mantoloking. We made the call here. No, nothing.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: My first view of what the devastation was to the beach area--of 18:00not actual visual what was going on, the storm was done--was when one of my public works employees, they were trying to go with the policemen, were trying to go down to see the status of the police department, and he calls me on the radio and goes, "Mayor, I hate to say this, but holy shit." (Trudi laughs) "You've got to see this." Coming down South Green Street just after Marshall Road, we were blocked by boats. Completely filled the street. At that point, I was down there between 2:30 and 4:00. I knew there were going to be an hour or so to move them. We coordinated to be as nice as possible to the boats, to move 19:00over. And we had some heavy equipment come in from the county. And the goal was to be able to make a path so if anything could happen, that we could have emergency vehicles go down there. I didn't want my employees to go down there without a path of emergency vehicles. If something happened to them, I've got to have some way for them to get out.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: So we--roughly around, like I said, between four and five I had a little shut eye, per se. (Trudi laughs) Just laid down on the floor, and went back there when the road was opened and started to see the devastation. It was a war zone. It was unsafe. The smell of diesel fuel, the smell of gasoline, the sights of boats on top of boats. The natural gas, because we had so many homes 20:00destroyed and gone, we had natural gas just shooting up from the ground. We were somewhat fortunate because we were still flooded. Around that time frame, we still probably had about--in areas of Tuckerton Beach, we still had about a foot and a half, maybe two feet of water. So we were not able to get as far as we wanted to in places, but as we were working to move debris, just to clear the street, to be able to go down the main corridor of South Green Street before we even went down the sides of any houses or any of the roads, it took a while. We were able to get to the areas that we were concerned most about residents and danger, probably within five hours. There were boats everywhere. People's 21:00properties, people's houses. It was horrendous. And my staff did an outstanding job, my public works guys, just moving to be able to clear a path, like I said, to make sure we had safety and emergency, if needed. Because we didn't know for them even trying to move anything with the smell of gas and everything else. It was dangerous. It was a war zone. To make the full town somewhat safe that our employees could do, probably took about twenty-four hours. And that was from like Tuesday through Wednesday. We actually, at the police station area, there we were actually at Marshall Road and South Green--and I could show you on the map in there--we actually put a roadblock. No residents could go down. Nothing. 22:00By doing that, we ensured no looting. People were concerned, but we were able to lock it down. Fortunately, the Tuckerton Beach area there's only one way in by vehicle. I'm sure you can get around by boats, and people were trying to do that. But it was also very dangerous on their part because there was so much debris in the water, with homes, everything.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: I finally got to see the full tour of the damage late Wednesday afternoon. Went down every street. After I finished the last street, I actually had to get out and cry. I still get emotional thinking about it, you know, how my town was destroyed. And then we went into recovery mode, what we can do. And it was just--we started following all the plans that were in place, just to 23:00clean up, and make it safe. We wanted our residents to be able to come back in and see their house. (coughs) And that was our goal. We did not allow them in until Saturday morning.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Wow. (clears throat)

GEORGE EVANS: And it's--it was unbelievable. The first day, that Tuesday and Wednesday, we had minimum support from the gas company. The next day, after calls with the governor's office and others, it was fabulous. We went from having five or six crews, or trucks, down here, that would not go in any deep--in any water whatsoever, to twenty to thirty gas trucks down here. They 24:00realized the significance of where we were. We also had a major crew from Alabama for the electric poles. We had hundreds of poles, hundreds of wires all over the place. Now, there was no electric, so there was no concern of a wire touching anything.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: Like, that was bull, you're not doing that. One of the other concerns that we had, we pulled our construction folks, when I say our construction department and any of the team that we have, any area that had an electric meter that possibly was under water, we pulled it for the electrical. We pulled the meters, and put a tag on them. Any of the gas valves that were 25:00under water, they were pulled or disconnected. You couldn't get them turned on. They were locked, just for the safety of the town. We did not have a single fire down here. And it was pretty massive and devastating.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: What was the scene of the community, the mood of the community in itself, the other residents?

GEORGE EVANS: People were--for that first week--all's they wanted to do is get to Tuckerton, come see their house, come see their house. And people were upset that we would not let them in. Everybody had their worst fear, because rumors spread around, there's looting, or there's this, or that, because they're hearing that in other towns.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

GEORGE EVANS: And you know, I committed to them, there was not going to be any looting. And we put the security in place so it didn't happen.

26:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you have the National Guard here?

GEORGE EVANS: No, no.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: We did have resources that came from a couple other police departments. Ocean County Sheriff's Department sent some of their security down, and with our police, and also with our fire police, and also some residents that we knew, we worked around the clock, right there at Green Street, or actually almost by the police station, an area where the roadblock, you just could not get down. Most of it was at Marshall Road, that's the last turnaround before you head to the beach. Saturday, when the residents--we opened it up at seven o'clock in the morning, we had traffic from the mile down to South Green Street to Marshall Road, all the way to the parkway, were people waiting to get in. We 27:00made sure they had to provide passes and information, we only let it open for the daylight, and we made sure they had to be out. And we went, and people realized when they finally saw the devastation, and I was fortunate, I already knew that my house was already destroyed. I knew there was something wrong with my house, even though it was raised, my house was raised up off the water, or off the land, and--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How high?

GEORGE EVANS: Five feet off the land itself.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: But for base flood elevation was eight feet, nine from my door, or from my floor to go in.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: And I took over twelve, fourteen inches of water in the house, plus the front of my living room area, when you walk in, took a major hit when 28:00my roof buckled. Basically, in that room I lost everything. One thing my wife, and my kids, and my family that all came down to help, they knew as mayor I had to be out on the town with people. And they totally supported that for me. I had family come from all over, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, to help with, to see hey, what was good, what was not. Pretty much everything.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How was cell phone service and reception in the area? How were you really getting in contact with people?

GEORGE EVANS: Cell phone service--AT&T was on and off. Verizon stayed up most of 29:00the time. Land lines were up, land lines were down. We had cable. Cable was up, cable was down. It was intermediate for the first couple of days. But that being told, residents knew that they were able to get information from Nixle, which is a text messaging site. I don't know if you ever heard of that? Nixle?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: No.

GEORGE EVANS: If at some point you want to go on nixle.com and register, you can put yourself in any area, and if there's ever an alert from police, anything in your town, they'll let you know. So people had that information. People had information from Facebook, and we posted on our borough's website. Also we had 30:00residents at the middle school who were staying there at the shelter. And myself and other members of my staff, we would go over there and communicate to them, and let them know where they were. Some of the hardest things were knowing that their house was destroyed, and all they're sitting there asking me, How's my house? How's my house? And you can't tell them the truth, because you don't want to create mass hysteria in there. And it was tough. It was tough that Saturday.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. Who did you look for support? Did you begin to contact any power companies, insurance companies, or FEMA? (clears throat)

GEORGE EVANS: As part of what happens in a storm like this, they're already coordinated, and conference calls were already starting. FEMA rolled in as quick 31:00as they could. There's was a normal process and stuff, you flow with. As far as personal, personally yes, I had to contact my insurance companies, probably four days later, only because, you know, I'm handling all the issues and concerns of the town.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. How long did the response take, for FEMA personally, or your insurance companies?

GEORGE EVANS: Personal or town? I mean--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Both.

GEORGE EVANS: It's still ongoing. It's still ongoing for just about everybody. I put my information out there to the insurance company, for I'm going to say personal. I received communications about two weeks later. Then had an adjuster 32:00about another two weeks later. And I'm like the other 80 percent of the people in this area in South Jersey, where they decided to make an example about the flood insurance, and not give the people what they're justice due. I have a house that's destroyed, and the company that I'm dealing with offered me one third of the value, and they've come up with their new infinite wisdom, simply saying it was pre-construction. Construction flaws. It's amazing. Even the homeowners. And what infuriates me is for twenty years, they've had the opportunity to come and inspect the house, but they've been so happy to take your money, constantly increase your flood insurance rates to put your house 33:00back to the way it was or replace it at a certain value. And for nine to ten years, I've had it constantly increase and increase and increase. I have a big red condemnation sticker on my house. Can't live in it. And they send rookie flood adjusters, where they walk in your house and say, Oh, you're fine. You can live here. Just spray a little stuff here, spray there. And if your floor buckles again, just put another claim in. Yeah, I'm fighting the insurance companies like dogs. That's a story you don't want to go to.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: (laughs) How did your community cope? How did you cope and how did your community cope with everything that was going on?

GEORGE EVANS: I'm so proud of my residents. This town became so close. Residents 34:00came from all over to help and outpour, and it was just amazing. And not only residents here; people from all over were coming down to help. It banded our community together. When people got to see the devastation, it actually saddened them so much, they didn't even want to ride down there, but they were there to help in other ways. We had different events here, Thanksgiving at the Seaport. A lot of people came who were still living in the area, who were able to. We have a lot of people displaced, living in different hotels all over the place. Tremendous. And our residents worked with each other. There were people 35:00frustrated, What do I do? What do I do? And we tried to do the best we could, which we did. We had the debris probably cleaned up within thirty days.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: That's good.

GEORGE EVANS: Hundreds and hundreds of tons of debris. That's houses. Everything. And I'll show you some pictures of how bad it was. When people in the beach area, and also other people became so proud and they're constantly saying, Buck, you did a great job. Buck, you did a great job. And I kept on saying, "No, it's not Buck, it's all of us. It's the staff that did it." And I said, "I can't take credit for this, this is my staff." They were the ones. Our group of guys, and even the contractors we had, they understood the urgency, and 36:00they were committed. And we were in quick communication with the DEP and FEMA, how were going to do things, how we were going to clean things. And FEMA understood the urgency. Many of the FEMA representatives who came here and got to see the initial tour of the town made the comment, this is the worst they've ever seen. This is far superior than Katrina or the Gulf or anything. And those storms they had, just flooding. You didn't see houses gone and destroyed. Picture it this here, you had a massive tornado rip it, plus flooding. That's what it looked like.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

37:00

GEORGE EVANS: Unbelievable.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: I'm sorry, you mentioned the DEP, what does that acronym stand for?

GEORGE EVANS: The New Jersey, NJDEP, Department of Environmental Protection.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Oh, okay, thank you. So what kind of aid that started rolling in for you, whether it be religious community--

GEORGE EVANS: We had--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Volunteers?

GEORGE EVANS: I wish I had the memory to try to remember their names. I forget their names, I'm embarrassed. But there was numerous. We had the church right over here, right there by the Acme, and I apologize right now--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: That's fine. (laughs)

GEORGE EVANS: But they had groups coming down there, staying for overnight for 38:00weeks and weeks. We had different organizations, like the Masonic Lodge, feeding them, and it was just fabulous. We had a group called We Love 08087, which was sponsored by the high school and the middle school and some, actually, retired ones. They really helped coordinate all the outpouring of food that was coming down here, clothing--because people lost everything. They lost a lot of it. Yeah, there was--I wish I knew their names. There was, I would say, about seven religious organizations that came down here, plus other volunteers just came down. My ex-chief of police, who was living in Minnesota, came down here, to see what he could do and help, and help people. It was just outpouring. And when we opened it up, people were over there just helping people just move stuff from 39:00their property out to the center of the road. Because at that time, by law, we could not go into personal property and pull stuff. So if they got it out to the road, we were able to do that. And that's where we were able to move the debris. Later on, after we were already done, then they were, Oh yeah, you can go do that. Now that's what we did, and that factor helped a lot of residents see it get better and better and better. You know, when they first drove down and saw their streets, it was like, This ain't my boat that's in my yard, in my house. It wasn't a nice thing to see. And when they would come down, again we opened up on weekends and eventually we opened up more, even during the days at certain time frames, they kept seeing the progress and the progress. I would say, I think within maybe three weeks, I think we did it before Thanksgiving, we 40:00actually opened up the Tuckerton Beach area for residents to move back into, who wanted to. Knowing, that the residents had to know that the number one priority was debris removal. Some residents did not like that. I actually had one resident who sent me a nasty e-mail, called me the dumbest idiot in the world. "You're impacting my quality of life, and how would you like it if I take my trash and put it on the mayor's property?" That's the quality of people you have. And I quietly responded to her, "As mayor, I allowed you--in a disaster status--I allowed you to move back into your home, for normalcy, knowing that 41:00debris removal is number one. It is unfortunate that where your street is, is on the largest straight roads, where we're able to use that as our transfer station for debris." Because what we had was, we coordinated with the contractors to have large 100-yard trucks, I don't know if you realize how big they are.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: They're the massive trailers. And we were using the big 30-yard dumpsters and just picking up and putting stuff and bringing it over to there, and they were taking it out and putting it in piles on the big cranes and just lifting into the large trucks, and they were being hauled out of here. It was an around-the-clock process. This one resident was actually blocking the trucks, saying it was impacting her. So I politely went and I said, you know, "If this is impacting your quality of life, please relocate. But if you care to put your trash on the mayor's condemned property, which he cannot live in, please feel 42:00free. I'll provide you the address." Still sent a snotty e-mail back, but you know, you consider the source. But one out of two thousand people, whatever, who saw it, I mean, just amazing. And we had some nice stories. I'll even show you the video I have here, if you want to see it, where there was a woman right on Parker Road, where her home was destroyed. And she's in her eighties, and her husband had passed in February. And she was so concerned that she didn't have her husband's urn. We found the urn the day before she came here, sitting on top of a fence pole.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Wow.

GEORGE EVANS: Not damaged or anything. So she was all happy. (Trudi laughs) Yeah, that's a nice ending. The news team came down to see it. (Trudi laughs) I had that to offer them. Little things put a cheer in people's eyes. And I don't 43:00know if you ever use Facebook or anything. If you actually go on our Facebook page, Tuckerton Borough, you can go through the full timeline and see, and still watch it, how we're constantly giving people out information and how we were providing information during the storm. People become very accustomed, to it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you receive any governmental aid?

GEORGE EVANS: We are starting to receive some of the federal aid. It's a slow process, but we've been able to start receiving it in the town, yes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How do you feel about the responses that you've gotten, from the local government and organizations, and from federal as well?

GEORGE EVANS: Well, as response from local, I hope that's well, being--. 44:00(laughs) That is some of the questions that we have with the federal government. Unfortunately with the magnitude of the storm, we sit down with--I'm going to take this as an example--Joe A. comes down here. They're with us to review the storm. They review our damage. We spend the time to fill out the paperwork the way Joe A. wants it. Dot all the i's, perfect, and everything else. Then we submit it back to Joe A., well Joe A. is no longer there. Now it becomes Joe B. Well, Joe B. wants it this way, that way, this way, so he sends it back, rejects it. We submit this paperwork back up, well Joe B.'s not there, now we're dealing with Joe C. He comes out, looks at it, Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're pretty close. I recommend this here. Then you resubmit it back, then he submits it to his boss, 45:00and all of a sudden they come back and say, they offer you one tenth of A. So then we gotta sit there and go fight the battle with them. And we're constantly doing it. You know, why, we don't understand. But you know, fortunately now there's supposedly more money being put into it. Be up front with us, be up front with the towns in the beginning. But you know, we are receiving things. It's slow. But, you know, we're being told we're going to get this money. And we're filling out all the paperwork, or the PW, as they call it. Do we actually have it in our hand? No. Some of it, but not everything.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you believe that New Jersey as a whole prepared adequately, like by having enough dunes, having a high enough mandation of 46:00raising of the houses?

GEORGE EVANS: Well, you mean how high the houses were?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yeah, originally, before the new--?

GEORGE EVANS: Well, remember, that height limitation, the height mandate is still a responsibility of the federal government. Wherever you were built as, we adopted our new laws in 2006 when the federal government came out. So any new construction from 2006 on, we're mandated with that, and we followed it. One of the things that we did in this town, is we knew people wanted to start building and raising real quick, so we knew they were going to have to raise the height, so we mandated a height, what we thought it was going to be. What we've actually done here in the borough of Tuckerton, we were very proactive. We took the 47:00standards that the federal government put out, but we also said, plus one more foot. It also puts the town in a better numbers for FEMA, acts, and stuff like that. So our ordinance actually says, you have the height of base flood elevation plus one foot. But things have now changed with the new laws, too, where before your elevation was at your floor where you walked in, now it's at the lowest structure of your house. To give you an idea of my new house, like I said, my floor was eight feet, nine inches where you walked in? The new height will be fifteen feet, six inches.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: That's pretty high.

GEORGE EVANS: Yeah. (both laugh) Yeah, I hope my knees handle it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Is there anything that you think the state could have done differently?

GEORGE EVANS: No. No. I mean, the communications in the state were very good, 48:00communications from the DEP were very good. We put our foot down with them, they work with us. So, on that aspect, we're very comfortable what the state was doing with us, at the initial part of the storm and for the first ninety days. I mean, the magnitude of this storm was nothing that New Jersey and New York had never seen. And it was just--this probably will be the worst storm that will go down in FEMA history, the devastation. I mean, you know, if you look at that little picture there on that wall, on the door there? See that area that was just by the water there?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

GEORGE EVANS: And that white area, that beach area?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: There's 660 homes there. Roughly 93 million dollars of real estate damage was done there.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Wow. Yeah.

49:00

GEORGE EVANS: That's a lot.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: It is.

GEORGE EVANS: Yeah.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: It is. Do you think that anyone is to blame for the storm, or it's just Mother Nature's way of taking back her land?

GEORGE EVANS: That's Mother Nature. There's nothing you can do.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How do you feel about the media coverage that was here, both local and major media coverage? Was it sensationalized or was it pretty much accurate?

GEORGE EVANS: It's bothered some people. We're a small town. And we're the end of this area here. I actually made the comments in my-- I don't know if you've seen them, the newspapers in Atlantic City, the Press, the Leader, in New Jersey, the Jersey shore goes past Exit 98, and the mainland can't be forgotten. 50:00And you know, it's nice, and I know Mayor Wells of Seaside. It's nice that they put the boardwalk there and got it out, but he's dealing the same situation I have now. You don't have the homes to support the boardwalk. And essentially with the media coverage, if people wanted to feel sorry for themselves, and, Oh, this is my town. And I can understand that frustration. We had some of it. But I don't always want to be the pity town, because I want us to be known as the first recovery town, of what's going on. And we can promote that, you know what? Damn it, we've recovered faster than anyone else. And we pretty much have. And that's what I want to promote, what we've done. We're not the millionaires, in our town, not like Long Beach Island and others, and you know, it's all sad, and 51:00because you know, you hear money and everything else for that. Like Mantoloking, they had sixty homes burned down because of stupidity. That was the big thing. You hear New York news. When they came down here, like when Philadelphia came down and the other news channels, I'll show you the clip. They were just, you know, shock and awe. And we fed the media coverage when we need it, but we put that media information out to remind it. Some people, I wish they could hear more. Is it for a comfort zone? Maybe. Do people get frustrated when they hear Bon Jovi's giving a million dollars to this town or whatever it is, to do this? Yeah, it bothers people. We heard all these concerts and everything else. We haven't seen a dime. And we're more impacted than others. Now, has the state 52:00declared this as one of the top twelve hit? Yes. Do we have free services coming down, like planners and all this type of stuff? Yes. In that aspect, that's good, but for publicity, it has its pros and cons. Sometimes when we have publicity of how you were so devastated there, that can bring a faction of people that you don't want to have come in. Because you can figure, Ah, here's a town to go hit, scam, pilfer, steal. So you have to weigh both avenues of that.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: What do you think about both the governor and the president making their appearance in the state, in certain towns?

GEORGE EVANS: The governor's been where he had to be. I was up there with the 53:00president, up there in Asbury Park. He needed to get out of Washington, with what was going on that day, and Governor Christie accepted it, but made sure there was more money coming to the state. So it was a working union at that time. Was it making people feel good? Sure it did. Sure it did. That's a short window, though. It's a short window.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did your opinion of the governor change, once you see how he was proactive about his state?

GEORGE EVANS: Honestly, no. Knowing him and working with him, and even with the 54:00previous hurricane that we had here, in preparation, he was on the ball. He didn't care what side of the fence you were--Democratic, Republican--this is how it had to get done. And I think he also made those statements in the federal government. Infuriated some Republicans, infuriated some Democrats. "I want the money. Give it to me." His comment was, "I don't care, it's my state. My state's not like the states." You know, you think about it, New Jersey is a melting pot of a lot of people, not like other towns, other states. And I think New Jersey, 55:00you'll find people more willing to work with each other, whatever your ethnicity, I think is the word, we're the same, compared to other places. And he had to remind the federal government that. And hopefully the federal government still continues to send the aid, which is a requirement, and stop making changes as people do things. You know, it frustrates the residents of this state, and also New York, that, you know, why are we being segregated now, for insurance claims? The permanent residents. Why was all of the money, just because the faults the federal government did with Katrina and St. Louis, and the floods in North Dakota and everything else, we're, Oh, okay, here's you're in and done, 56:00you got your full fee."Why is this area considered different? It's not because, you hear the term, it's considered a white area, or not, that has northing to do with it, or are we rich, or we're not. That's not the case. We have our ethnicity here in this town here and others, it's mixed. It should not be a factor in New Jersey or New York. But that's (unintelligible). And the governor's even made comments about that, you know, why is New Jersey being shafted? Hopefully we'll all find out sooner or later.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: How do you feel about the response from the rest of the country?

GEORGE EVANS: The initial outpouring was phenomenal. It was tremendous. But it 57:00was also a CNN media event. Just like you and I probably watched Katrina or I'm sure you watched the airplane crash, for that day or two. That was the news for a while, and everybody had it. Well granted, it was in the news for quite a while. But after twenty-five, thirty days, it ended for many, for the national media, because there was other events that went on. And think about it, now you're into Thanksgiving, you're into the holidays and stuff like that. There are still residents around, throughout this country, who are still sending, you know, how can we help you, how can we do this? The same way we had our residents do a special thing, also with the Masons, to do a simple pancake breakfast to 58:00raise money for the people in Oklahoma. You know, it's--we try our best, everybody does it's best.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: The response that we've received in New Jersey, how does it compare to the response received with Katrina or any of the other storms you've experienced? Was it a positive response, negative response?

GEORGE EVANS: Response from who?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: The nation, anyone at all.

GEORGE EVANS: Well, if you see the government, I think the government learned that they have to take a stronger foot, well they demanded to be in. And we had a governor who allowed them to come in, and mayors allowed them to come in, whereas Katrina, there was such--between the mayor of New Orleans and the governor of New Orleans, you know, the federal government can't come in unless you say, Come in. We had them involved from day one. For residents, like I said, 59:00it was amazing, the outpouring. I received e-mails from people from all over the East Coast and other places, How can we come in and help? I have a boys' group who wants to come in and help, or I have college kids. Like Valley Forge Military College, they came down here with kids to help clean up. Different things, so it was overwhelming.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: All right. Has this storm shaped your environmental views in any way?

GEORGE EVANS: My environmental views, as in?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Being more green, or trying to do something more to preserve the land?

GEORGE EVANS: My personal opinion is, I think some of the restrictions that the federal government has on our land along our bay areas is absolutely ridiculous 60:00in many ways. And in many ways, they're now, they are realizing that they need to relax on some of them, and they're doing it now. Tuckerton Borough is a very environmentally sensitive community. We've had the cleaning of the Barnegat Bay, the Barnegat Blitz? The commissioner's been down here with a tour of the Seaport and with students from the school, and he commented, and others have commented, just how environmentally sensitive the borough of Tuckerton is. We have a very active environmental committee, and you know. With that being stated, do they support everything? No.

61:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Does the storm make you think about changing, maybe even moving, from the water?

GEORGE EVANS: No.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

GEORGE EVANS: Because, you know, I look at it this way here. If something's going to happen, it's going to happen. So, maybe I move thirty miles away from here? Oh, a tornado might come through. Or maybe I have a house fire, or a tree falls down. You made the comment earlier, it's questionary, it's Mother Nature. It's like driving in a car, you don't know what's going to happen. Flying in an airplane, safest thing in the world, you don't know if it's ever going to crash or not. So I can't--I don't live on worrying. You know, my glass is always half full.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Have things returned back to normal?

GEORGE EVANS: We're getting there. I don't see it for another year or two, 62:00because people are still in the rebuilding mode, trying to fix everything up.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. And you have moved, how has that affected the changes in your daily life?

GEORGE EVANS: In my aspect, it's tough because I'm not living in my house, so I'm renting a space in a good friend of mine's house, you know, my wife and I. A very close friend, like I said before. And when it's not your house, it's not the same, even though it's very open, but you know, it's not your home. But I've kept a positive approach on it, and one of the comments the governor said to me is, "Buck, when you stop smiling, your town stops smiling." You'll always see me smiling. And I see it with other people, the frustrations with the insurance 63:00companies are tremendous. The stories are horrendous. But they're trying to find ways to overcome it. You have half that area down there are people who could not even get insurance money because it's their secondary home. And what's happening is they're spending the time into rebuilding their home, but they're not using the area's pleasure like they normally would. Next year will be the time they're using their boats and everything for pleasure, they'll have the money to spend on that. That is impacting our marina business tremendously, and hopefully they can survive.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Are you still making payments to your home?

GEORGE EVANS: Yes.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you have any changes to the house?

GEORGE EVANS: Not only am I making payments on my mortgage, I'm paying flood 64:00insurance on our property that's condemned, and I'm paying homeowners on our property that can't be used. Figure that one out.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. I know. (laughs)

GEORGE EVANS: And taxes and whatever, which you've got to do, but it's part of life.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right, in addition to everything.

GEORGE EVANS: And with the home, to be done, or rebuilding, or stay in my home, I had to take out a second mortgage, or you know, through the SBA [Small Business Administration] loan, so I'll have two mortgages for a while. Not fun.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you have any changes in the way you look at your community, in the outlook of the community?

GEORGE EVANS: I'm proud. Proud of my residents, because they saw hell. Everybody said, Oh the '62 storm, the '62 storm--you've already heard about that, it was a major one. And now people have seen the reality of, it can happen again, and 65:00people who do not want to deal with it ever again are gone. It's sad, you won't see those people again, you won't see, you know, that community again. But the people who have stayed have taken that pride like I had asked everybody that first day we were open, "We will rebuild Tuckerton." And people have taken that approach.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. Did you have any changes on the outlook of the world as a whole, after--?

GEORGE EVANS: No.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: No?

GEORGE EVANS: No.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you think the storm had an impact on the presidential election and the upcoming governor election?

GEORGE EVANS: Yes. Yes.

66:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you care to elaborate? (laughs)

GEORGE EVANS: Well, I think this upcoming election for the governor's race, the state of New Jersey realizes we have a strong governor, a strong leader. Something was needed after the last couple governors, and it's been proven, and people were upset the way his tactics were, trying to get government back to normal working shape. And when the storm hit, if you remember, the race was tight.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Um-hm.

GEORGE EVANS: And with respect to both parties, you notice that week, because of 67:00up here, no one really advertised their campaign. But the only person you saw was the president when he was up here visiting, so he got free campaigning. The numbers in New Jersey were tight, and could have swung that way. There were so many voters who did not come out and vote, who could not come out.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. That's what I was getting at.

GEORGE EVANS: And New Jersey and New York were such swing states. And also other areas like that, that were impacted by the storm, because it wasn't just New Jersey, but it was the East Coast, from like Virginia up. People, I believe, you know, when you look at--there was a study out there that, most of the time for a 68:00presidential election you have almost about 60 percent of the people come out and vote. I think we had thirty.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: What is the story you're going to tell your children and your grandchildren about the storm?

GEORGE EVANS: Be prepared what Mother Nature can do to you. And be ready to be able to accept the worst that can happen, but then take the initiative to make positive out of it, and better yourself. And don't dwell on what happened 69:00because once you hit that, that storm was there, only positive things can happen then. The worst was there. Hell hit us, and it can only improve.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: I'm going to ask you on both sides. From mayor to mayor, and all the other cities that have subsequently been experiencing devastation in their towns, what do you have to say from a mayor to another mayor, or from a personal homeowner who's been affected also, to another?

GEORGE EVANS: As a homeowner to another homeowner--and that's, I don't wear the hat as mayor all the time.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. (laughs)

GEORGE EVANS: You know, we band together, and soon again we'll be having 70:00cocktails on our deck and enjoying life. And that's the way to be. That's just my attitude. As mayor to another mayor, how's it going, what are your frustrations, what are--you know, everybody talks their frustrations, but hey, this is what has worked. Here, contact my clerk, this has worked, or administrator. It's constant flow of information to continue the process.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. If you wanted to give a message about the storm, what would the message be?

GEORGE EVANS: Be prepared for what Mother Nature can do to you. When your local government asks you to be prepared and leave when needed or evacuate, please 71:00adhere to those words. It's extremely important because people don't realize the burden that they put on the local government officials and the emergency staff. You know, knowing that residents are down there and the worst can happen, it's not fun for my police or anybody else who had to worry about someone who has died, and had to go through that misery of finding a dead person. You know, I heard people, Oh, (unintelligble). And I said, "Thank you."

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you have any casualties?

72:00

GEORGE EVANS: None.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Good.

GEORGE EVANS: None.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: What would the legacy of the storm be?

GEORGE EVANS: Personally, the storm that changed the Jersey shore forever. (Trudi laughs) And it's changed. Like they said, the '62 storm changed Tuckerton Beach and Tuckerton forever? This storm has taken that.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, I'm wrapping up, so is there anything else that I missed that you want to share?

GEORGE EVANS: You're more than welcome to see some of the videos and if you want me to put them on a DVD, I'm happy to do that.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, thank you. And that's it, at 1:40.

GEORGE EVANS: Okay.

0:00 - Interview introduction

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence and today is July thirteenth and it's roughly 12:30 p.m. Can you state your name please?

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview with George Evans.

Keywords: Accident; Before the storm; Car; Cost; Ethnicity; Family; Home; Income; Occupation; Rooms; Tuckerton

Subjects:


GPS: (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.603349, -74.340553

2:12 - The joys of living in New Jersey / involvements in the Tuckerton community

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Partial Transcript:Okay. What do you like about living in New Jersey?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about what he likes about living in South Jersey. He also lists his involvements in the Tuckerton Beach Association and the Masonic Lodge.

Keywords: Atlantic City; Community; Crime; Crime rate; Drugs; Environment; Fortunate; Involvement; Masonic lodge; Mayor; Minimal; Neighborhood; New Jersey; Organization; Phone; Population; Residents; School; Teacher; Town; Tuckerton; Volunteer

Subjects:


GPS: Masonic Lodge (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.605500, -74.339075

5:56 - Preparing for the storm

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Partial Transcript:Okay. so now we're going to move into talking about the storm. When did you first hear the storm was coming?

Segment Synopsis: Evans describes preparations for the storm in Tuckerton, including his meetings with the emergency management team. He also talks about his feelings towards Governor Christie's warnings.

Keywords: Adequate warning; Area; Before the storm; Communication; Devastation; Emergency; Emergency management coordinator; Facebook; Feedback; First thoughts; Flooding; Governor; High tide; Impacting; Information; Mayor; Media; Nixle; Plans; Police; Preparation; Procedures; Public works; regional center; Residents; Responsibility; Serious; Shelters; Storm; Town; Tuckerton; Updates

Subjects:


GPS: Pineland Middle School (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.610735, -74.359557

9:41 - The first day of the storm / weather conditions

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Partial Transcript:Okay. Take me through the first day of the storm. Where were you when you actually saw first sights of the storm?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about how he had set up his command center in the mayor's office.

Keywords: Area; Beach; command center; Conditions; Disaster; Emergency; Evacuation; Fire; Flooding; High tide; Home; Hurricane; Information; Mandatory evacuation; Mayor; Normal; Office; Office of Emergency Management (OEM); Paperwork; Pictures; Police; Power; Praying; Public works; Rain; Rainy; Sleep; Storm; Tides; Town; Transmission; Tuckerton; Warning; Weather; Winds; Windy

Subjects:


GPS: Tuckerton Green Street Beach (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.578876, -74.331490

14:22 - Ending of the storm and immediate aftermath

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Partial Transcript:And would that be around the time that you'd say the immediate storm ended?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about how the town looked after Hurricane Sandy hit. He also describes his first views of the devastation.

Keywords: Concern; Destroyed; Devastation; Fire; Hurricane; Inspection; Loss; Magnitude; Normal; Outside; Praying; Rain; Recovery; Residents; Safe; Storm; Town; Water; Waves; Weather; Winds

Subjects:


GPS: (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.602787, -74.340725

17:18 - Tuckerton after the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:We were without power, and the most part of the town, we were fortunate. This area of the town, power was restored pretty early.

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about Tuckerton after Hurricane Sandy including the loss of power and flooding that forced crews to use boats in the streets of the town. He also describes ways that emergency personnel worked to make the town safe again.

Keywords: Area; Beach; Boats; Boats in street; Clean up; County; Damage; Dangerous; Debris; Destroyed; Devastation; Diesel; Emergency; Equipment; Fire; Flooding; Fortunate; Fuel; Gasoline; Gone; Home; Houses; Looting; Lucky; Mantoloking; Marshall Road; Natural gas; Plans; Police officers; Police station; Power; Property; Public works; Radio; Recovery; Residents; Restored; Roadblock; Safe; Safety; South Green Street; Storm; Street; Town; Tuckerton; Unsafe; Visual; War zone; Water

Subjects:


GPS: South Green Street (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.594947, -74.339273

23:27 - Support from gas and phone companies and other police departments

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Partial Transcript:And it’s—it was unbelievable. The first day, that Tuesday and Wednesday, we had minimum support from the gas company.

Segment Synopsis: Evans discusses Tuckerton's lack of support from the gas companies and the help of other police departments. Nixle, which was another source of information for the Tuckerton residents, was a website that would send those residents information from police about the status of Tuckerton. He also talks about the rumors of looting after the storm and what he did to stop them.

Keywords: Alabama Power; Area; AT&T; Beach; Cell phones; Community; Concern; Construction; Contact; Devastating; Devastation; Electrical meter; Electricity; Facebook; Family; Fire; fire police; Fortunate; Gas; Gas truck; Governor; House; Information; Land lines; Living; Looting; Marshall Road; Mayor; Meters; National Guard; New Jersey; Nixle; Ocean; Office; Parkway; Pennsylvania; Police; Police station; Reception; Residents; Resources; Roadblock; Roof; Room; Safety; Scene; Security; Significance; South Green Street; Support; Town; Tuckerton; Verizon; Water; Wires

Subjects:


GPS: South Green Street (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.594947, -74.339273

30:38 - Support from FEMA, insurance companies, and Department of Environmental Protection

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Partial Transcript:Right. Who did you look for support? Did you begin to contact any power companies, insurance companies, or FEMA?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about the help he and his town are receiving and how quickly these institutions responded to the situation in Tuckerton. He also describes how his town coped with damage from the storm.

Keywords: Adjuster; Beach; Clean up; Communication; Community; Concern; Condemnation; Conference; Construction; Contact; Contractors; Cope; Debris; DEP; Department of Environmental Protection; Destroyed; Devastation; FEMA; Flood insurance; Hotels; House; Hurricane Katrina; Information; Inspection; Insurance companies; Issue; Justice; Normal; Outpour; Pictures; Power companies; Residents; Response; Storm; Support; Thankful; Tornado; Town; Tuckerton Seaport; Urgency

Subjects:


GPS: Tuckerton Seaport (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.601023, -74.343093

37:12 - Aid from both volunteers and the federal government

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Partial Transcript:Oh, okay, thank you. So what kind of aid that started rolling in for you, whether it be religious community—

Segment Synopsis: Evans speaks about the volunteer groups who helped clean up Tuckerton, preparing the area for residents to return.

Keywords: Area; Beach; Boats; Chief of police; Church; Condemnation; Contractors; Damage; Debris; Destroyed; Disaster; Facebook; Federal aid; federal government; Food; Home; House; Information; Magnitude; Masonic lodge; Mayor; Minnesota; Money; News; Normalcy; Organization; Outpour; Paperwork; Parker Road; Priority; Property; Religious organizations; Relocated; Residents; School; Storm; Street; Thanksgiving; Town; Transfer; Tuckerton; Volunteers; We Love 08087; Yard

Subjects:


GPS: Tuckerton Green Street Beach (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.578678, -74.331833

45:52 - Height mandation / alternative approaches

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Partial Transcript:Do you believe that New Jersey as a whole prepared adequately, like by having enough dunes, having a high enough mandation of raising of the houses?

Segment Synopsis: Evans speaks about high enough mandations. He also talks about how high the water level was and how many millions of dollars of real estate damage was done in the Tuckerton Beach area.

Keywords: Beach; Building; Communication; Construction; Damage; DEP; Department of Environmental Protection; Devastation; Dunes; federal government; FEMA; Flood; Houses; Limitation; Magnitude; Mother Nature; New Jersey; New York; Proactive; Responsibility; State; Storm; Structure; Town; Tuckerton

Subjects:


GPS: Tuckerton Green Street Beach (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.578876, -74.331490

49:20 - Media coverage of Hurricane Sandy

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Partial Transcript:How do you feel about the media coverage that was here, both local and major media coverage? Was it sensationalized or was it pretty much accurate?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about sensational media coverage of the storm and people's reactions to it.

Keywords: Area; Atlantic City; Awe; Boardwalks; Bon Jovi; concerts; Coverage; Devastating; Home; Impacting; Information; Jersey shore; Long Beach Island; Mantoloking; Mayor; Media; New Jersey; New York; News; Philadelphia; Promote; Publicity; Recovery; Seaside Heights; Services; Shock; Small town; State; Town

Subjects:


GPS: (Atlantic City, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.364738, -74.420303

52:44 - Response from the governor, president, and rest of the country

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Partial Transcript:What do you think about both the governor and the president making their appearance in the state, in certain towns?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks about his opinions on both Governor Christie and President Obama making appearances in New Jersey. Additionally, people had began to get in contact with Evans to ask how they can help.

Keywords: Appearance; Area; Asbury Park; Country; Democratic; Ethnicity; federal government; Flood; Flood insurance; Governor; Governor Christie; Hurricane; Hurricane Katrina; Mayor; Media; Money; New Jersey; New Orleans; New York; North Dakota; Outpour; Preparation; President; Proactive; Republicans; Residents; Response; St. Louis; State; Storm; Thanksgiving; Town; Union; Valley Forge Military College; Working

Subjects:


GPS: (Asbury Park, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 40.220414, -74.011028

59:24 - Evironmental views / relocation / recovery of Tuckerton

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Partial Transcript:All right. Has this storm shaped your environmental views in any way?

Segment Synopsis: Evans discusses his environmental views and his relocation to a new home. He also talks about how everything went back to normal in Tuckerton after the storm.

Keywords: Area; Barnegat; Boats; Business; Car; Community; Daily life; Environment; federal government; Fire; Governor; House; Insurance companies; Money; Mortgage; Mother Nature; Normal; Property; Rebuild; Renting; Residents; Storm; Support; Survived; Taxes; Tornado; Town; Tuckerton; Tuckerton Seaport; Water

Subjects:


GPS: Barneget Bay (Ocean County, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.882560, -74.114297

65:44 - Impact of Hurricane Sandy on electoral politics

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Partial Transcript:Do you think the storm had an impact on the presidential election and the upcoming governor election?

Segment Synopsis: Evans tells about how President Obama appearing in New Jersey helped people vote for him in the election. Also, he thinks Governor Chrisitie's actions made people open their eyes to see how strong of a governor he can be.

Keywords: Advertised; Area; Campaign; Election; Governor; Impacting; New Jersey; New York; Normal; Party; President; Presidential campaign; State; Storm; Storm hit; Working

Subjects:


GPS: (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.602787, -74.340725

68:13 - Remembrance of Hurricane Sandy / message for future disasters

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Partial Transcript:What is the story you're going to tell your children and your grandchildren about the storm?

Segment Synopsis: Evans talks discusses what he would tell his children and grandchildren about the storm. He also tells of the legacy of the storm.

Keywords: Administrator; Devastation; Emergency; Evacuate; Experience; Information; Jersey shore; Legacy; Local government; Mayor; Message; Mother Nature; Police; Prepared; Residents; Storm; Town; Tuckerton Beach

Subjects:


GPS: Tuckerton Green Street Beach (Tuckerton, Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 39.577983, -74.331876
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