0:00

ARIJ SYED: This is Arij Syed reporting for Kean University for the Staring Out to Sea Hurricane Sandy Oral History Project. I'm with Mr. Perroth from Port Monmouth, New Jersey, and we're here today to talk about Hurricane Sandy. Okay Mr. Perroth, how old are you?

GLENN PERROTH: I'm fifty-five years old.

ARIJ SYED: And how long have you lived in this house?

GLENN PERROTH: Twenty-five years.

ARIJ SYED: Twenty-five years. And how long have you lived in New Jersey?

GLENN PERROTH: Twenty-five years.

ARIJ SYED: And can you tell me a little bit about your family, how many children you have, siblings, who you live with?

GLENN PERROTH: I have a wife and two children.

ARIJ SYED: Two children, okay, great. And can I ask you what you do?

GLENN PERROTH: I'm an elevator inspector.

ARIJ SYED: Elevator inspector, okay. And what do you like about living in New Jersey?

GLENN PERROTH: What do I like about living in New Jersey? Well it's a beautiful state, a lot of good things. It's a little damp and ugly right now, but it'll 1:00come back.

ARIJ SYED: Is there anything specifically that attracts you to the area?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, I came here and I liked it.

ARIJ SYED: And where do you typically spend your time in New Jersey? Where do you go out for recreation or things like that?

GLEN PERROTH: I pretty much stay at home and go to work.

ARIJ SYED: And have you ever seen Jersey Shore the show?

GLENN PERROTH: No I don't watch that, no.

ARIJ SYED: You don't watch that, okay. And can you tell me a little bit more about your neighborhood and community, how involved you are, how well you know your neighbors?

GLENN PERROTH: I know most of the local neighbors right here, who have been here for quite a long time together. And I had a quite a few parties or whatever over the years.

ARIJ SYED: So would you say you're a very tight-knit community?

GLENN PERROTH: Pretty much so.

ARIJ SYED: And how are the schools here?

GLENN PERROTH: The schools? I like the schools. They all work pretty good. Over 2:00the years my kids went to grammar school all the way up.

ARIJ SYED: And how is the crime right in Port Monmouth?

GLENN PERROTH: It's light. Mostly you hear about is cars broken into, that kind of stuff, and that happened right after the storm to my cars.

ARIJ SYED: Oh really?

GLENN PERROTH: Yes. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: Was that a common thing to happen to a lot of people?

GLENN PERROTH: I don't really know how many people, but I live right by the trail, so--it's happened a few times here, since I've been here.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow. Did they catch whoever--

GLENN PERROTH: No, they never do. (both laugh)

ARIJ SYED: Can you tell a little bit about the economics of the town? Is it more of a high-end area, mid-range--?

GLENN PERROTH: Probably more of a lower-end area in this side.

ARIJ SYED: And do you take part in any community events around here?

GLENN PERROTH: Not really too much. Boy Scouts, I'm in with the Boy Scouts.

3:00

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay. And what's the reputation of Port Monmouth in New Jersey? Are there any nicknames that the town has?

GLENN PERROTH: Not that I know of.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And when did you first hear that the storm was coming?

GLENN PERROTH: Probably a week before it was coming.

ARIJ SYED: A week before? And how did you hear about it?

GLENN PERROTH: On the radio--

ARIJ SYED: On the radio?

GLENN PERROTH: --and the television.

ARIJ SYED: Um-hm. What were your first thoughts?

GLENN PERROTH: I figured it would just be another storm. Might have been a little stronger, because they said it would hit Category 1, but--

ARIJ SYED: So did you have any expectations as to what would happen, or was it really just a wait-and-see?

GLENN PERROTH: I had a feeling that it could come through my floors possibly, but I didn't think it would. Never expected eighteen inches.

ARIJ SYED: (laughs) How did you prepare, and what did you do?

GLENN PERROTH: Cleaned up the yard, tightened all of the tables down and the 4:00chairs down, that kind of stuff.

ARIJ SYED: Did you go out and take supplies out beforehand?

GLENN PERROTH: My wife always has stuff, and she takes care of that, get the food and whatever.

ARIJ SYED: And what was the availability like? Was there a lot of people out? Were there long lines, or did you think it was relatively easy to get supplies?

GLENN PERROTH: Before the storm?

ARIJ SYED: Right during the anticipation, right before the storm.

GLENN PERROTH: Just before the storm? Didn't seem to be a problem.

ARIJ SYED: Do you believe you got adequate warning of what was to come?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, I think that we knew it was coming. They had no way of predicting any more than we could possibly imagine how much water we were going to get. But it was an onshore breeze high shore breeze and a moon high tide, so--.

ARIJ SYED: What did you make of the governor's warning?

GLENN PERROTH: Never heard it.

ARIJ SYED: Never heard it? Okay. And were there evactuation warnings here?

5:00

GLENN PERROTH: Would you like to get an opinion? My daughter said she heard it.

ARIJ SYED: (to daughter) Oh yeah, what did you feel about the governor's warning?

NICOLE PERROTH: I just thought that he tried. He said, you know, Get out, you're going to get flooded. If they didn't get out, it's their own fault. I mean, I'm glad that we stayed, because we saved a lot of stuff that we wouldn't have, but--.

ARIJ SYED: And did you guys have an evacuation warning here?

GLENN PERROTH: Yes, there was evacuation.

ARIJ SYED: Was it voluntary or mandatory?

GLENN PERROTH: It was--

NICOLE PERROTH: It was mandatory.

GLENN PERROTH: --considered mandatory but they weren't forcing anybody--they couldn't force anybody to leave, I guess. Even like, my neighbors, they were older and they got it even worse than me with the flooding.

ARIJ SYED: Was there ever a time in you mind that you thought that, Maybe we should leave? Or were you always--

GLENN PERROTH: I was under control, the people next door should have left. They 6:00actually called the cops and they came but the cops could only get to the corner. The cops came with waders down to their house, but said they said, No, we're not carrying you out, secure yourself for the night.

ARIJ SYED: And do you have any pets?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah. Well, that one wasn't here at the time, that one was.

ARIJ SYED: So how did you prepare for your dogs? Were there any special things that you needed to do?

GLENN PERROTH: No, my dog was here, the water started coming up, she was on the couch, and at one point she couldn't take it anymore and she jumped in, and went swimming around my living room.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow. So they weren't scared of the water coming in?

GLENN PERROTH: No. Well, she's too old to be worried about that. We picked her up, we put her in the attic, and that's when we all started heading for the attic. (both laugh)

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay. So your whole family stayed in the attic throughout, when the water came in?

7:00

GLENN PERROTH: Yes.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And how did you prepare for your cars? Did you park them any special way?

GLENN PERROTH: We parked them up in the back. On the other side of the trail there's a pizza store. We parked in the parking lot over there, it's much higher.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay. Were there a lot of people parking there?

GLENN PERROTH: Not so much there. Most people parked at the Walgreens.

ARIJ SYED: Walgreens, okay. And can you take me through your first day of the storm? Where were you when it first started raining?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, we were here all day. We were preparing, at around eleven o'clock in the morning the power went out before the storm. We had the generator hooked up, we were working, had everything going smooth.

ARIJ SYED: So you were pretty well prepared.

GLENN PERROTH: We were pretty well prepared.

ARIJ SYED: And what was the first sign of the storm?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, the water was coming up. The wind was blowing all day, so that--but that was not abnormal compared to the other storms we had. But when 8:00when the water started coming up the street, it was starting to get closer and closer. And then it was up to the sidewalk--

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

GLENN PERROTH: Then it was up to the driveway, and then it was coming in the house, then it was getting to the outlets, so we shut the generator off and put it up on blocks. Then the next morning my generator had gone under water. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: Wow, the whole thing?

GLENN PERROTH: The whole thing.

ARIJ SYED: Wow.

GLENN PERROTH: I had no generator the next day. (phone rings)

ARIJ SYED: So with the generator under water and all the electrical outlets under water, how long did it actually take you, after the storm, to get power back in your house with the generator? Because I imagine the wiring must have taken some damage with the water.

GLENN PERROTH: Well I was an elevator guy my whole life, worked on elevators, electricity-type stuff, and I know a lot about it. We turned all the breakers off. First thing I did was hook the generator up directly to my heater.

9:00

ARIJ SYED: Of course.

GLENN PERROTH: And of course we've got some (unintelligible) that I own, and I brought them in and started drying the place out with extension cords right from the generator.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: And after about--well, my generator went under water, so I had to get another one. So I didn't get that till--

ARIJ SYED: You had to buy a whole another generator?

GLENN PERROTH: I actually borrowed one from a firehouse on Staten Island.

ARIJ SYED: Oh wow, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: It was an old antique one, but it worked well.

ARIJ SYED: And how'd you hear about that generator? Were there like a lot of--

GLENN PERROTH: My brother is a fireman up there.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, your brother is a fireman up there.

GLENN PERROTH: And nobody wanted that generator because it was old, and nobody trusted it. I said, ''Bring it.'' (both laugh)

ARIJ SYED: Better than nothing, right?

GLENN PERROTH: It worked well. So when we finally got that, that was about six hours, so I guess it was probably about three in the afternoon the day after the storm. That's what we did, we hooked up the heaters and got my regular heat 10:00working again.

ARIJ SYED: And so you were at home all day, so you didn't have to come back from work?

GLENN PERROTH: No.

ARIJ SYED: Were there any children you had to pick up from school?

GLENN PERROTH: No, it was a weekend.

ARIJ SYED: It was a weekend, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: Nicole, it was Sunday, right? You didn't--no school--

DEBBIE PERROTH: No, it was--

NICOLE PERROTH: It was Monday.

DEBBIE PERROTH: It was Monday, the schools were all closed, due to the impending storm.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. Can you describe the weather conditions a little bit? Like, how bad was the wind compared to other times?

GLENN PERROTH: The wind was pretty strong, it was some of the strongest--probably equal to the '93 storm, which was a Nor'easter that came close to flooding, a similar situation. But not the category that--I was shocked there wasn't as much rain as I thought there would be.

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, there really wasn't that much water. It was more of like wind bringing more water in.

GLENN PERROTH: We had, actually, a river running down.

11:00

ARIJ SYED: Oh, through the streets, right?

GLENN PERROTH: The water was flowing down the side of my house. My backyard filled up to the top of my pool. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: The top of your pool? Wow.

GLENN PERROTH: The top of my pool. (Arij laughs) I stepped off my deck, it went up to my chest.

ARIJ SYED: Wow, wow. So how did you make it out of the house after that? I mean, how did you get anywhere with so much water everywhere?

GLENN PERROTH: Oh, it was like four feet of water, so the most I did was going out to the garage. I mean, I went out there to get some stuff out of the refrigerator out of there to bring up to the attic (laughs) and that was it.

ARIJ SYED: And how did you actually get the water out of your house?

GLENN PERROTH: Well the water went out the way it came in, for the most part, and I got a pump--my brother had some pumps, so I had gotten a pump from him, and we pumped out the crawlspace under the house the next day.

12:00

NICOLE PERROTH: And there was fish.

GLENN PERROTH: And there was fish.

ARIJ SYED: There was fish? Really?

GLENN PERROTH: As we were pumping the water out, we were pumping it out through the driveway, and the little gillies were flopping around on the driveway.

ARIJ SYED: So what did you think while you saw the water rushing into your house? What was going through your mind at that time?

GLENN PERROTH: Well I'm not a person that panics at any point in my life. (both laugh) So it was just, my wife was trying to clean it up of course. Honey it's not going to happen. (both laugh) And then she was dumping it into the buckets, that didn't happen either.

ARIJ SYED: So how was your family through all of this? Were they a little more nervous?

GLENN PERROTH: They where probably a little more nervous, but not too much, they all handled it pretty well.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And when did your power go out?

GLENN PERROTH: My power went out at eleven o'clock in the morning before the 13:00storm came, before the flood.

NICOLE PERROTH: It went out on Sunday. The day before.

ARIJ SYED: The day before? Wow.

GLENN PERROTH: Was it the day before? I thought it was the morning.

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah, they shut the power off the day before.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, they shut it off themselves the town?

GLENN PERROTH: No.

DEBBIE PERROTH: The power went off on Monday.

NICOLE PERROTH: Nope, it went out on Sunday.

DEBBIE PERROTH: No, it went out on Monday. (Arij laughs)

GLENN PERROTH: Discrepancy as to when it went out, but we had a generator at that time and it was working, so it wasn't a major issue for me. I was prepared for that. (Debbie talking in background)

ARIJ SYED: So with the power out, did your gas go out as well?

GLENN PERROTH: No.

ARIJ SYED: No? Okay. And how did you get information the first day of the storm?

GLENN PERROTH: Information from--?

ARIJ SYED: Like what's going on in your town, what happened with the storm. Was that more--

GLENN PERROTH: Well they gave a lot of phone calls in Middletown.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay, a lot of phone calls. And that was mostly the government calling people?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, it was the government calling, the local government saying 14:00that there's going to be floods, and that you're going to get--mandatory evacuation. If you don't evacuate, there will be no rescues, that kind of stuff.

ARIJ SYED: So when they said there would be no rescue, at any time, you were never worried? Or were you--

GLENN PERROTH: I was not worried for myself and my family, but next door there were elderly people and I had no idea what had happened to them in the middle of the night, because I couldn't get over there without literally swimming. It was over my head on the street.

ARIJ SYED: And when did you go to sleep that night? Or did you get any sleep that night?

GLENN PERROTH: I got a couple hours up in the attic.

ARIJ SYED: Up in the attic? Okay. And when did the immediate storm end?

GLENN PERROTH: The immediate storm?

NICOLE PERROTH: Right about when the flooding started.

DEBBIE PERROTH: No, it was very windy--

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah.

DEBBIE PERROTH: --all night.

NICOLE PERROTH: The flooding started around 8:30. It wasn't raining, it was just--

GLENN PERROTH: But the storm didn't end till the morning.

NICOLE PERROTH: It was just windy, it wasn't raining.

15:00

ARIJ SYED: Okay.

GLENN PERROTH: All right. But the storm ended, I guess, after the flooding went down, it's pretty much--

NICOLE PERROTH: It was over.

GLENN PERROTH: --we weren't concerned about the wind anymore.

ARIJ SYED: (laughs) Yeah.

GLENN PERROTH: We were worried about cleaning up.

ARIJ SYED: And what was going through your head when you woke up the next day?

GLENN PERROTH: The first thing I did was come down, we cleaned everything, the cabinets, everything out of all the cabinets, cut the rugs out, and we started working.

ARIJ SYED: Started working? Okay. So there was never any, like mourning period?

GLENN PERROTH: There wasn't a doubt in my mind that this is what's got to be done.

NICOLE PERROTH: The mourning period came afterwards, like finding all our clothes, my mom had lost almost all of our shoes, so that was more of like--my bed, I lost my bed.

GLENN PERROTH: There were shoes floating everywhere between her and--

ARIJ SYED: With the fish? (laughs)

GLENN PERROTH: There was a lot of shoes floating around here, garbage pails, and it was a mess. It was a total mess, but we dealt with it, and we got it cleaned 16:00up. And everything went outside and clothes got separated, and we sent clothes to Staten Island to be washed. Four different houses were washing our clothes, because everything in every drawer and closet had to be washed.

ARIJ SYED: True.

GLENN PERROTH: Blankets, sheets. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: And when did you first go outside?

GLENN PERROTH: (Nicole talking in background) Well I was outside during the storm. Like I said, I stepped off of the deck, and went up to my chest in water.

ARIJ SYED: And uh--

GLENN PERROTH: My deck was literally floating, it was at an angle like this, of 45 degrees, yeah. So I go over to the end and I go, How deep could it be? (splat sound) I was shocked.

NICOLE PERROTH: He was actually trying to save our boat. The boat floated off the trailer.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, it did?

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah, but it was still attached to the trailer, so that was a major plus.

ARIJ SYED: So did the boat take any damage?

17:00

GLENN PERROTH: The boat was very lucky, it landed half on the guard rail, and half on the fender of the trailer. It just took about four and a half hours to get it back onto the trailer.

ARIJ SYED: And how did you respond to everything you saw? Was it distressing, or was it more of a, you saw what happened and it just put you into work mode?

GLENN PERROTH: Pretty much, I go into my mode of dealing with it. It has to be fixed, it has to be done. I don't sit back and cry and worry, because that's not going to get anything done. So that's why I'm back in as good a shape as I am. There's still a lot of people that haven't gotten in their houses yet, and I'm about three-quarters or more there already.

ARIJ SYED: Do you have any neighbors that are still not back in their houses? People you know personally, or--?

GLENN PERROTH: Not offhand, because that would be down the bottom of the street, and I really don't know those people, they're all the way down there. Then there's people out on Bray Avenue that I know they're not in their houses yet, 18:00they just finished emptying them out, most of them.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow. And who did you contact first?

GLENN PERROTH: Who did I contact? As far as anything, I guess the insurance company. And I guess and FEMA was second. They come up through the neighborhood, I guess, and I saw one of them and they said, Oh we'll give you an apointment. And they called me back and said they would come in.

ARIJ SYED: Were they good with their appointments, were they on time? Or was there--?

GLENN PERROTH: They were on time with their appointments but they were really no help at all for me, because I had insurance, I guess. If you have insurance they come in--all they did was waste my time as they were walking through my house, and then they leave and they tell you they're not giving you anything.

ARIJ SYED: Really? Wow. And can you just describe the damages you suffered for your house?

GLENN PERROTH: Eighteen to nineteen inches of water throughout the whole house. 19:00Cabinets were all flooded, refrigerator was flooded. The water was literally up to the bottom of these chairs, right up to the seat. That's where it was. So all the walls had to be cut down at two feet throughout the whole house. Take all the insulation out of them, replace the insulation.

ARIJ SYED: The insulation as well? Did it soak all the way through?

GLENN PERROTH: The insulation does not dry out by itself. It would never dry out, it would just turn into green mold and the walls would start growing after a while. So all the insulation in any house has to be ripped out and replaced. All the insulation under the floors had to come out and be replaced. All the radiator covers, all the painting, the furniture, every cabinet in the kitchen, the bottom cabinets had to come out.

20:00

ARIJ SYED: So basically the entire, literally the entire house.

GLENN PERROTH: Anything that touched that water has to be replaced, pretty much.

NICOLE PERROTH: Four foot and down.

GLENN PERROTH: All the flooring, the rugs, the floors, hardwood floors. This kind of floor, we just put this down yesterday.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow. It looks great.

GLENN PERROTH: Put down yesterday. (laughs)

DEBBIE PERROTH: The tub.

NICOLE PERROTH: The tub.

GLENN PERROTH: The bathtub went under water.

ARIJ SYED: How was the plumbing? Was the plumbing working afterwards?

GLENN PERROTH: The plumbing during the storm, the water was coming up through the toilet bowls.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow. Can you describe the mood a little bit, maybe throughout the community? Because you said you were more of a, you had to do what you had to do, but how were your neighbors taking it?

GLENN PERROTH: Well I was more concerned with only one neighbor, right over here, the older people. And they had their son there, and somehow he got them up into their attic. And they're eighty-eight years old.

21:00

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

GLENN PERROTH: So when I got there after the flood went down a little bit, and I helped to get them back out of there, we got them dry clothes from here and brought it over there, and we got them dressed. We got them in the beds with dry blankets. We spent a couple hours, me and Rob that was here.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And can you describe your cell service a little bit? Were you able to make calls out?

GLENN PERROTH: I don't think we ever had a problem with the cell.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Yeah, that was our only mode of communication, basically.

NICOLE PERROTH: We didn't have smart phones during the storm, so we relied on everyone else with a smart phone.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

NICOLE PERROTH: But our cell phones worked, so that was a big part of it.

ARIJ SYED: And can you take us a little bit through the next day and next week? How long did it take you to get back to work?

22:00

GLENN PERROTH: I wasn't working at the time.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: I was injured last year, so I was out of work for over a year. And I had just gotten permission to go back to work, but I still had a month off before I was going back to work.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: (clears throat) So I had a lot of time to work around here.

ARIJ SYED: And did you stay here throughout the whole storm, or did you go anywhere else while you were doing repairs?

GLENN PERROTH: I stayed, myself. My wife and kids went to various houses. Relatives in Staten Island, some friends around the corner, on the dry side. And they came back every day and worked during the day and slept at night, and I just stayed here the whole time.

ARIJ SYED: So how long did your power go out for?

GLENN PERROTH: Deb, what was it? Seven--?

DEBBIE PERROTH: It was about eight days.

GLENN PERROTH: Eight days?

23:00

DEBBIE PERROTH: It came back on Election Day.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, on Election Day itself, okay. And were stores closed around your area?

GLENN PERROTH: Most stores were closed. I guess Foodtown opened up. The biggest problem was gas. Gas for the generators, gas for cars. Lines.

ARIJ SYED: The lines were probably long all throughout the day, right?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, lines were constant.

DEBBIE PERROTH: If they had electric--

GLENN PERROTH: Well there was only--

DEBBIE PERROTH: --so that they could give gas.

GLENN PERROTH: There was only a couple gas stations open, because there was only a couple that had generators to run their pumps. So most gas stations were closed and the lines for the few that were open were very long--hours. People were waiting hours.

ARIJ SYED: And how often did you need to refill your generator?

GLENN PERROTH: Generator was every six hours, I think it was.

ARIJ SYED: Every six hours, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: And I was fortunate. Like I said, I'm a Boy Scout, and the Boy Scouts were going up north to get gallons of gas for us.

24:00

ARIJ SYED: Oh really?

GLENN PERROTH: They were taking our five-gallon containers and bringing them back full.

ARIJ SYED: Oh wow, that's great. So you found a lot of help from people in the community, people you knew?

GLENN PERROTH: Yes, we did. The churches were all over the place.

ARIJ SYED: Um-hm, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: They were helping, they were cooking for us, they were doing everything.

ARIJ SYED: And was there any church in specific that you go to, or was it every single church around here?

GLENN PERROTH: It was all different churches coming through. I mean, some were bringing blankets, some churches had cleaning supplies. It was like, so much stuff coming down the street. They were just walking down with--I guess they parked the van on the corner and walked up and down, Who needs what? They were helping. The churches were probably our best source of help.

ARIJ SYED: You would say, even more so than the government?

GLENN PERROTH: There was shovels--

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah.

GLENN PERROTH: The government? What did they do for us?

NICOLE PERROTH: They didn't come.

ARIJ SYED: They didn't come?

GLENN PERROTH: They didn't help.

NICOLE PERROTH: Red Cross didn't come. (Glenn laughs)

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

GLENN PERROTH: (Nicole talking at same time) The Red Cross came two weeks later, one day, made us lunch.

25:00

ARIJ SYED: That's it?

NICOLE PERROTH: They didn't--

GLENN PERROTH: Two weeks after the storm, they came for one day, they walked down and said, Does anybody want lunch? So we did, we went down and we got some lunch. And it was a good lunch, but that was it. They came one day and never saw them again.

NICOLE PERROTH: The churches definitely helped. We had a church from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, actually come and dig out our foundation.

ARIJ SYED: Oh really? So they were helping with the actual repairs and--

GLENN PERROTH: Oh yeah, they came, the church--

NICOLE PERROTH: The Amish were here.

ARIJ SYED: The Amish, really?

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah.

GLENN PERROTH: Yes, there was a lot of people helping.

NICOLE PERROTH: Women in full dress and apron.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, but we had the one church, like you said, from Pittsburgh. They came, they had thirteen people. And most of the neighborhood was empty at the time. So they spent the whole day here. They helped me with wood, with carpentry, with digging--

NICOLE PERROTH: Electric.

GLENN PERROTH: --with electric, they had an electrician with them. So we got a lot of work done that day.

ARIJ SYED: So how were you getting supplies and wood for repairs? Was the Home Depot open?

26:00

GLENN PERROTH: Home Depot.

ARIJ SYED: Home Depot? Okay.

GLENN PERROTH: Pretty much, that's--Home Depot and Lowe's were a daily--

ARIJ SYED: Daily outing?

GLENN PERROTH: --turn of events. And still is.

DEBBIE PERROTH: We didn't start back for at least two weeks or so.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, well everything was still cleaning out and drying out before you could rebuild, of course, but--.

ARIJ SYED: And what about mail service? When did that start back up.

NICOLE PERROTH: Oh God.

GLENN PERROTH: I don't know, you're in charge of the mail.

DEBBIE PERROTH: I don't think it was out that long.

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah, the post office was open right away. It was open a couple days later. And they also got flooded. They were running mail out of Belford--

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

NICOLE PERROTH: --rather than right here in Port Monmouth.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Yeah, they were operating with no electricity.

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah.

DEBBIE PERROTH: But they were open.

ARIJ SYED: And what about trash pickup?

GLENN PERROTH: Trash pickup, well--

NICOLE PERROTH: It was a little bit different, there wasn't like a trash pickup, it was mostly the township coming in, they had giant dump trucks.

27:00

GLENN PERROTH: Bulldozers and dump trucks.

DEBBIE PERROTH: That was FEMA.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

DEBBIE PERROTH: FEMA, that's what the government did. FEMA paid the township whatever, and they got these dump trucks to come in with cranes, and they would just--your couches, everything went out to the street and they cleaned all that up.

ARIJ SYED: Was there any set days for that, or would they just show up?

GLENN PERROTH: Nope, they would show up--

ARIJ SYED: Whenever they wanted?

GLENN PERROTH: --about two times a week, they would show up and clean up the mess.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well, we would know because we would see them down the street.

GLENN PERROTH: Because they'd be loading up trucks--

DEBBIE PERROTH: It would take a day or two.

GLENN PERROTH: Like my yard took up almost a whole truck.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

GLENN PERROTH: I mean, because you had furniture, rugs. You would believe--insulation, everything was in a big pile on the street, and then they'd come with these cranes and clean it up. That's where the government came in. They didn't do nothing for us, they did do something.

ARIJ SYED: (laughs) So, um--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Our stuff was gone, actually, by the next, I think--

28:00

GLENN PERROTH: Following week, yeah. About a week.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Yeah, by the next, like, Sunday. It wasn't even a week. Because we put everything at the curb, and it was taken away pretty quickly.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And what about the power company? Did you find that you got a lot of support from them? Did you think they were helpful, or was it frustrating?

GLENN PERROTH: I got another generator, and I could care less when they got it on. As long as I could get gas for my generator, I was okay. I knew that they'd be dealing with it, no sense bothering them on the phone. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

ARIJ SYED: (Debbie and Nicole talking in background) Now you said that FEMA came and they wouldn't help you because you had insurance. Can you tell me about your experience with your insurance company? How helpful were they?

GLENN PERROTH: The insurance company, they came in. And I think I got a fair settlement from them. I really had no complaints. It took a while. And then of course the banks, they own part of the house, so they wanted to hold the check, 29:00and that was a whole rigamarole. But that's over and done with.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Yeah, but it was February.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, it took a while. It was February before I actually got the money.

ARIJ SYED: So how did you get the money to build, these supplies, before the insurance company gave it to you?

GLENN PERROTH: I took loans, ran my credit cards up. (laughs) My mother gave me some money.

ARIJ SYED: The processes of taking loans out--was it difficult getting loans, were a lot of people taking loans out, or--

GLENN PERROTH: No, no, not loans from banks, loans from friends.

ARIJ SYED: Loans from friends. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

ARIJ SYED: So uh--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well, we were lucky, because we had a little bit of money in the bank, too, to get us started. The insurance company gave us ten grand pretty much right off the bat, to get started off.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, so we had some money. I mean, it worked out.

30:00

ARIJ SYED: So would you say the most help came from local people you knew, and people within your community?

GLENN PERROTH: Friends and relatives.

DEBBIE PERROTH: (at same time as Glenn) Friends and family.

GLENN PERROTH: Friends, family, and the churches. The church sent up some money, some gift cards. One of the clubs I belong to gave us some money.

ARIJ SYED: Okay.

NICOLE PERROTH: But our family was the biggest help.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, the family helped out.

NICOLE PERROTH: We had family--our bridge was full of them. His brother was waiting at the bridge to come over, like to get here that next day.

GLENN PERROTH: I mean, the family helped with all the construction. I didn't pay contractors, I did it all myself. All the work you see here (laughs) was all done by me, my brothers, friends, relatives, whatever it took.

ARIJ SYED: And how did your community cope with what was happening? Did 31:00they--because I mean, there's definitely a lot of people in the community who might not have as many friends or relatives?

NICOLE PERROTH: I'm a first-grade teacher right here in Port Monmouth, and sixty of a hundred and fifty of my kids lost their houses.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, wow.

NICOLE PERROTH: I lost one student. She had to move, and I mean, I still have two or three kids in my class that have nowhere to live.

ARIJ SYED: Oh wow. How long did it take for the students to come back here and school to restart?

NICOLE PERROTH: We went back to school twelve days after and I mean, the kids, they took it so well. All they wanted to do was be back at school. Like, twelve days, I mean--it's way more than a vacation that you want. So they were just happy to be back, to see their friends and see us, and we went back to our daily 32:00routine like nothing ever happened. But last week, the co-teacher I work with, she said to me, Richard got kicked out of his house, got kicked out of where he's living now. So it's just been really hard.

ARIJ SYED: And did you feel safe at this time?

GLENN PERROTH: At which point? You're talking about now, afterwards?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah, like after the storm, during the rebuilding, like in regards to crime or looting?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, no I didn't think we'd have any problems. Like I said, someone broke into my car and took my wallet. Other than that, nobody was going to come into my house, because I was here.

NICOLE PERROTH: We were here. (Arij and Glenn laugh) I had just built a fire pit in June, thank God, because we burned everything.

ARIJ SYED: Oh okay, so you burned everything.

GLENN PERROTH: Anything that was burnable, got burnt.

NICOLE PERROTH: The fire was going for at least a month straight.

33:00

ARIJ SYED: Oh wow. That much?

NICOLE PERROTH: Like, it never went out. Yeah, it never went out. Like, you'd wake up in the morning, it was still smoking, and we'd just start it up again. (noise from dishes in background)

ARIJ SYED: And can you talk a little bit about the response from the police, and their role in the rebuilding?

GLENN PERROTH: Well as far as rebuilding, they were patrolling the area, but I had no reason to call them or anything like that. So it wasn't a factor in my house. Whether other people did, I don't know.

NICOLE PERROTH: This is a quiet neighborhood, the police don't usually come around here very often. I mean, they drive out on the main street, but they don't even do that anymore because there's nobody, they can't get down the street--

GLENN PERROTH: The bridge is out.

NICOLE PERROTH: The bridge is out, so we don't see very many police officers here, except for, we have a Middletown detective who lost his house down the street, but that's about it. (Jeopardy theme playing in background)

ARIJ SYED: And did you have any interaction with emergency personnel?

34:00

NICOLE PERROTH: Besides the night of the storm, no.

GLENN PERROTH: Not the night of the storm. The next day the emergency personnel were here, the day after the storm.

NICOLE PERROTH: To make sure that they were okay.

GLENN PERROTH: To take the two elderly people out. They took them away, and then they got them into the shelter and took care of them. Because they needed to get out. I was very concerned about them. (noise from television in background)

ARIJ SYED: And can you just talk a little bit about the religious community here? Because you said that the church was basically the biggest form of aid that you received.

GLENN PERROTH: It's not just one church, all churches in the area. Every church in the area, there was always somebody walking down the street, asking, Is there anything we can do? Is there anything you need? Do you need supplies? Do you need blankets? Do you need pillows? Do you need--

NICOLE PERROTH: They set up a whole--

GLENN PERROTH: --shovels, rakes--

NICOLE PERROTH: --relief center--

GLENN PERROTH: --buckets.

NICOLE PERROTH: --in a parking lot. I mean, I walked down there just to help out 35:00because there was nothing really I could do here. I went down there to help out, and they were like, We really don't need your help, take what you need and go. But they had a lot of help, a lot of--

GLENN PERROTH: There was even, some of the churches had bought generators and were donating, were lending generators out, and when you're done using them, you have to return them. So in case it ever happens again, then they can use them. But the churches were the people that we could count on around here.

ARIJ SYED: And how about the people that needed aid? Was there like a big frenzy for people who needed generators, or were people--

NICOLE PERROTH: Yeah.

ARIJ SYED: --more or less civil?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, there was a frenzy. They were not hard to get. Within two days, every store was loaded with generators.

NICOLE PERROTH: Sears was empty--

GLENN PERROTH: You go to Home Depot--

NICOLE PERROTH: (talking over one another) --but you could go there and knock on the door, and they--

GLENN PERROTH: Right, the back door was open, but just for generators--

NICOLE PERROTH: But only--just for generators.

GLENN PERROTH: --that's all Sears was selling. Only generators, it was two generators, you get your choice of two. You could buy generators there, because 36:00I went to go to Sears and they wouldn't let me in, because I wasn't buying a generator. (Arij and Glenn laugh) That's it. And Home Depot had them, Lowe's had them. Anywhere you went there was plenty of generators, we found, if you wanted to buy one. I've got to buy a new one, but I haven't as of yet.

DEBBIE PERROTH: It was a problem, getting money, becuase the banks were all closed.

NICOLE PERROTH: And the power was out, so you couldn't--

GLENN PERROTH: The ATMs were all down.

ARIJ SYED: So how did you cope with the things that you needed to buy? Did you have some cash?

GLENN PERROTH: Credit Cards.

ARIJ SYED: Credit cards?

NICOLE PERROTH: Cash.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well, we got a little cash from--

GLENN PERROTH: And I had some cash.

NICOLE PERROTH: From a relative, we borrowed cash.

DEBBIE PERROTH: --from a relative.

ARIJ SYED: And how did you guys contribute to your community afterwords? Were you part of any community events, or--?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, the Boy Scouts did a few things. Like I said, I work with them all the time, I am the chairman of the committee for the Boy Scout troop. 37:00And we cleaned out one of the firehouses a couple of weeks ago, it was an Eagle project, over in Keansburg. We cleaned the whole firehouse down, sanitized the whole thing, so that they can be back to normal. Because the firemen were overwhelmed with, their houses were flooded, and they were working at the firehouse too.

ARIJ SYED: And now I just want to go into a little bit, the government response, and break it down between local, state, and federal. Did your local municipal government, how were they trying to help out.

GLENN PERROTH: Well, I didn't actually get them involved in my house, but I do have friends that got them involved, and when you needed a construction official or an electric official to come down, they came. Nobody had any problem getting them. Maybe it was a two, three-day wait, but they had a long list and they 38:00stopped at every house that needed them. And they gave as much information as they could.

ARIJ SYED: And what about the state government, and governor specifically? How do you feel he did, in response to the hurricane?

GLENN PERROTH: The governor? Well, I can't say he did a bad job, but like anything else, his hands were confused too. Where do I start and how do I--? I see things from that perspective.

ARIJ SYED: I mean, it's never happened in New Jersey.

GLENN PERROTH: Right, he did what he could, and I dont think that he did a bad job. Some things--I hope he learned from his mistakes, but for the most part, it didn't affect me, but I was watching all this happening. Down by the beaches, and what they're doing. In our neighborhood, we really needed the gates put up, but they are building a wall on the beach. You could build all the walls you want on the beach. If you don't put the gates where the levees are, the water's 39:00still coming in. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: And yeah, that specifically, how do you feel New jersey did to prepare, with the levees, dunes, do you think it was adequate?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, our neighborhood was scheduled to be done many years ago, and that money went somewhere else when there was another flood or whatever, down in Florida or whatever. We never got the money, it was never taken care of. But now, they're down there at the beach, supposedly they're going to start in the next couple of weeks, doing the levee, the dunes all along the beaches. But that's not going to help us at all if we don't get the gates. The floodgates is what we need on the two rivers.

ARIJ SYED: (water running in background) And are you optimistic about the floodgates getting put up?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, I'm sure it will happen, it's just, will it happen in my lifetime? (Arij and Glenn laugh) Will it happen before the next storm?

40:00

ARIJ SYED: And do you think the state could have done differently?

GLENN PERROTH: (water running in background) I don't think that there was much they could do. They can't stop the water. They made the announcements, they told people it was going to happen. They told people, If you're in low-lying areas to get out. I never got flooded before, that's why I stayed. And like I said, if it was a Category 2 storm or a Category 3 storm, a moon tide I'd be gone. (Arij and Glenn laugh) I won't be staying here.

ARIJ SYED: And do you think anyone is to blame for all the damage that your area suffered, or was it just Mother Nature?

GLENN PERROTH: Mother Nature, that's who to blame, is--

NICOLE PERROTH: I disagree a little bit, because here, on this side of the creek, they closed the floodgates, so only this side of the creek gets flooded. 41:00If they never closed those floodgates, we would still have got flooded, but we would have less water, less damage. (water running in background) Definitely.

ARIJ SYED: Do think that there is any reason why they closed the floodgates?

GLENN PERROTH: Okay, well here's what happened. Many years ago, Keansburg side of the dike over here was flooding out all the time. It was a regular thing. The houses are lower. So they put this big mound of dirt all the way down the whole waterway. And now when we got down to the end where the trail goes, they put floodgates up and they close the water trenches and everything before every storm. What happened this time is, the water came so high, had they not done all that years ago, Keansburg would have got all the flooding and we would have been spared, because we never would have got wet, per se. Or maybe everybody would 42:00have got wet, I don't know, I'm not the judge. Water seeks its own level, right?.

ARIJ SYED: Yeah.

GLENN PERROTH: So if it came up that high, (water running in background) it probably would have got everybody and them, so it probably worked, but--

ARIJ SYED: Do you think that was a conscious decision, or was that just what happened?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, it's a conscious decision to close the gates to save Keansburg's side--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well--

GLENN PERROTH: But I don't know if it would have saved us if they didn't close it. You know what I'm saying? Water seeks its own level. It would have came just as high anyway, I think, it just would have flooded more houses. (laughs)

ARIJ SYED: And how did you feel about the media coverage that was happening? Was it accurate, or was it more sensationalized?

GLENN PERROTH: Well--hm. Well, as far as--see I like to watch the weather, and I as pretty sure we were getting what they were saying. Especially, they put Sam 43:00Champion on our local weather, that tells you right there.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, he was on the local weather.

GLENN PERROTH: He was doing local weather.

ARIJ SYED: So you know something's going to happen.

GLENN PERROTH: Right. He's the national guy, he was doing the local weather the day before the storm, so you knew it was going to happen. There was no doubt. And as far as the news, I think they were more sensationalized afterward. I still think they sensationalize some of it. I mean, the flood was devastating, don't get me wrong, but they tend to be not showing where the houses are gone. There's just houses if you go down--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well, they did a lot of coverage in Union Beach, which took a pretty hard hit.

GLENN PERROTH: Union Beach lost a lot of houses. Six blocks of houses are gone.

ARIJ SYED: Wow, six blocks, wow.

GLENN PERROTH: They're just gone. My friend used to six rows from the water, is now waterfront property

44:00

ARIJ SYED: That's insane.

GLENN PERROTH: He looks over the bay now.

ARIJ SYED: Do you know what happened to those families? I mean, obviously they're homeless now--

GLENN PERROTH: That's a different town, that's down by Keyport.

DEBBIE PERROTH: Union Beach.

GLENN PERROTH: Union Beach.

DEBBIE PERROTH: It's like the next--two towns over.

GLENN PERROTH: It's two towns over. And yeah, they got hit really hard over there. The waves were crashing on houses, and they were just coming down.

ARIJ SYED: Now, do you feel you and your town were represented in the news coverage, or was it more in Union Beach or Keansburg?

GLENN PERROTH: They went to Union Beach almost everyday. We did have some coverage. Channel 7 had a van down here the night before the storm.

DEBBIE PERROTH: The night before the storm.

GLENN PERROTH: They were here the night before, down by the beach. Because we went down there to check it out. I don't know, I guess you go where the story is, and the story was, six rows of houses is more of a story than Port Monmouth.

45:00

ARIJ SYED: That's true.

GLENN PERROTH: Which, everybody got fluttered, but we didn't lose as many houses.

ARIJ SYED: And um--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Well, houses are being condemned. Those houses just fell apart and disappeared.

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah, the township--

DEBBIE PERROTH: Here, some of the houses got eight foot of water in them, and they're condemned.

GLENN PERROTH: The township went aorund and decided which houses were good, and which houses have to be condemned. And they put red stickers right on the door that said you're not allowed in.

ARIJ SYED: Really. And do you know what standard they were using, was it like with mold, or--

GLENN PERROTH: It had to do with how much water was in the house.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, okay.

GLENN PERROTH: If you got, I think seven or eight feet was the limit. If you got over that in your house, your house was considered unsafe until an engineer inspected it.

ARIJ SYED: And I know they're putting in a new law that houses around the beach, the foundation has to be raised eight more feet or something like that?

GLENN PERROTH: Well, they want me to go up seven feet here.

46:00

DEBBIE PERROTH: Four to seven.

GLENN PERROTH: What they did is, they sent out a letter--I probably have a copy of it, if you want it--and the letter states that if you don't do anything, your insurance will go to $9,500 a year. For flood insurance. If you raise it four feet--well, my house, it goes by a level, where you are. But in my house, I would have to raise my house four feet, and that would bring me down to $1,500 a year.

ARIJ SYED: Wow, that much difference.

GLENN PERROTH: If I go to seven feet, it will bring my insurance down to $350 a year.

ARIJ SYED: And how much were you paying previously for insurance?

GLENN PERROTH: $350 a year. I'm about the cheapest in the neighborhood, you won't get that number anywhere else. I don't know why it was so cheap, other than I got it twenty-five years ago, (Arij and Glenn laugh) and I don't expect it to stay that way, but--.

47:00

ARIJ SYED: And so how big do you plan to raise it?

GLENN PERROTH: We're thinking about going up four feet. I think, seven feet, I can't do the stairs, I'd have to move, so--.

ARIJ SYED: And can you talk a little bit about your opinion of Obama and his response?

GLENN PERROTH: What's his response?

ARIJ SYED: Do you feel it was inadequate, he should have done more?

GLENN PERROTH: I mean, he sent his troops here, but what did they do?

ARIJ SYED: What did they really do? Yeah.

GLENN PERROTH: For me, they offered me the loans, I did take a loan from them. And the FEMA like I said, as far as I was concerned, if you had insurance, they should have just bypassed your house and come back later. Go to the people who need it, then. If you're not going to take care of us, why are you wasting the 48:00government money?

ARIJ SYED: Yeah. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

ARIJ SYED: So about state aid, do you feel Obama should have put more federal funds into New Jersey?

DEBBIE PERROTH: We don't really know how much federal funds he's putting in here.

GLENN PERROTH: Well the money that they just got recently, I think it's ridiculous that they have to give every state that had an emergency situation money out of the money that they've--that money should have came here to deal with putting the floodgates up and things like that. Yeah, we could use more money.

ARIJ SYED: And I know there's a lot of controversy about New Jersey getting money, and there was this whole state rights, federal rights issue about whether the federal government should contribute to a state. How do you feel about that?

GLENN PERROTH: (water running in background) Well for years and years and years, any state that had an emergency, whether it be a snow emergency, or weather-related emergency, or a tornado emergency, they always got federal 49:00government money. Why should New Jersey be any different? (laughs) Because that all came out of our taxes, plus the fact that New Jersey pays more taxes than any other state in the country because of our popularity, or our population, I mean.

ARIJ SYED: And do you think there's any reason why this was? Why this time around, that New Jersey didn't get aid, when there was a precedent for states getting--?

GLENN PERROTH: It's politics. Thats how it works.

ARIJ SYED: Now when Obama came to New Jersey for the couple of days, did you feel that he really cared, or was it a political move?

GLENN PERROTH: He didn't come to my town.

ARIJ SYED: He didn't come to your town. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

DEBBIE PERROTH: I didn't see him.

GLENN PERROTH: I didn't seem him, don't really care. The governor came to our town, though.

ARIJ SYED: Oh, he did, okay. Did you meet with him? Did you see him?

GLENN PERROTH: My daughter saw him, I didn't. I was out of town at the moment, I 50:00was in Staten Island.

ARIJ SYED: Did the storm actually change your opinion of Christie in any way?

GLENN PERROTH: Well I like the guy, I think he's doing a fine job.

ARIJ SYED: And did the storm maybe give you more support for him?

GLENN PERROTH: No, I don't think it changed in a whole lot of ways. I think he stayed status quo. He did what he could do. Again, what do you do in that position? You're only one man. Yeah, he tried. At least he walked around through the neighborhoods and told people what he'd like to do.

ARIJ SYED: And how do you feel the response of the rest of the country was? Do you feel that they really know what happened here, or was it more of a, that didn't happen to us, we don't care kind of scenario.

GLENN PERROTH: Well, it's probably sort of like what we saw when Florida and--

51:00

ARIJ SYED: With Katrina?

DEBBIE PERROTH: New Orleans.

GLENN PERROTH: New Orleans and all of them got flooded. We saw what was happening on TV, but we weren't living it. They're seeing what's happening on TV and they're not living it.

ARIJ SYED: And can you just talk a little more about other storms you've experienced, and how this one was different from them?

GLENN PERROTH: Well because of the flooding, that was the whole difference to this storm to any other storm. We had in, like I said, '93 I think it was, it was the storm that there was a Nor'easter and the water came up to my porch, it didn't come in my house. The tree fell on my house that time, we had to get the tree off the house. Other than that, no those are the two big storms we had.

ARIJ SYED: And do you think this storm has shaped your view of environmental 52:00issues in any way?

GLENN PERROTH: Meaning--? I'm a little confused on what the question is.

ARIJ SYED: More around, do you feel like environmental issues like climate change had something to do with the storm, or was it just--

GLENN PERROTH: I don't buy into all that. I mean global warming, yes, there is such a thing. Do I believe it's as bad as they make it sound? I don't think it is.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. So you think it was more of a--

GLENN PERROTH: Maybe our water has gone up six inches in my life time. (Arij laughs) Okay? In six hundred years from now, it could make a big difference, where if I went up my house four feet now, it could be getting flooded on a regular basis. Right now, no, it's not going to happen.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. Did it ever make you think about moving away from this town because of the closeness to the shore?

53:00

GLENN PERROTH: Probably if it happened again. I don't expect it to happen again because it was a perfect storm. The high tide, the storm was below us. The wind was shooting directly on shore. Everything worked, that exact perfect storm. But a Category 2 or Category 3 storm hitting above us wouldn't give us the same flooding. If it hit below, it'd have to come straight in like that one did. Storms usually go right past New Jersey.

ARIJ SYED: That's true. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

GLENN PERROTH: That was the hardest hit in over a hundred years.

ARIJ SYED: Like, living in Jersey, you'd never think, you know?

GLENN PERROTH: Yeah. Well, I always knew we could get hit with a hurricane, I just never expected the flooding to go that high.

ARIJ SYED: And have things returned to normal?

GLENN PERROTH: Still rebuilding, every day. Not back to normal. I don't get to 54:00go out and hang out on weekends. We work. (Arij and Glenn laugh) Work, work, work.

ARIJ SYED: And so, changes to your daily life--I know you were saying you were going to go back to work after a month after the storm. Are you back to work right now?

GLENN PERROTH: I'm back. I did go back to work. I went back to work on December twelfth.

ARIJ SYED: And how do you manage going to work and make repairs to your house?

GLENN PERROTH: It slowed things down a whole lot.

ARIJ SYED: And did it change your outlook on your community? Did it bring the community together, do you think?

GLENN PERROTH: I think it's pretty much the same as it always was. The people that didn't talk still don't talk, the people that--during the storm part there was a lot of people that did some talking that didn't usually talk, but no friendships were made over that.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. (Arij and Glenn laugh) And did it change your political views at all, as in did it impact your vote for the presidential election in any way?

55:00

GLENN PERROTH: No.

ARIJ SYED: And will it impact the 2013 gubernatorial election for you?

GLENN PERROTH: I don't think it'll impact it. I'm still going to vote the way I was going to vote anyway.

ARIJ SYED: Okay. And what will you tell your children and grandchildren about the storm?

GLENN PERROTH: Don't live near the water. (Arij and Glenn laugh)

ARIJ SYED: That's good advice. Is there any specific themes that you feel would come out of the stories?

GLENN PERROTH: Themes that would come out of the stories?

ARIJ SYED: Themes, or like, lessons?

GLENN PERROTH: I don't know, my kids--my lessons to them is what I tell my kids now: Go to school, get a degree, get a real job, make real money, and buy a house high enough that you don't get flooded.

ARIJ SYED: (laughs) And is there any message you would like to give on the 56:00storm? Or any legacy of the storm that you think there is?

GLENN PERROTH: A message about the storm? I don't know. Probably if I had the time to think about it, I would. But right now I can't think of something off the top of my head. (water running in background)

ARIJ SYED: Is there any--

GLENN PERROTH: If you want to call it anything, it's the storm of the century.

ARIJ SYED: Storm of the century, um-hm.

GLENN PERROTH: Or the storm of my life, because I don't think we'll ever get flooded like that again.

ARIJ SYED: Was it the most distressing event in your life?

GLENN PERROTH: No. Not even close.

ARIJ SYED: Not even close? Okay. (Arij and Glenn laugh) And did I miss anything or anything that I should have asked that you would like to talk about now?

GLENN PERROTH: I don't know. You pretty much covered everything. Do you have anything to say, hon?

DEBBIE PERROTH: No.

ARIJ SYED: Okay, thank you so much for your time, Mr. Perroth, I really 57:00appreciate it.

end of interview

0:00 - Interview Introduction

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Partial Transcript:This is Arij Syed reporting for Kean University for the Staring Out to Sea Hurricane Sandy Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview with Glenn Peroth, with comments by his wife Debbie, and their daughter Nicole.

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0:15 - Introduction to Glenn Perroth

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Partial Transcript:Okay Mr. Perroth, how old are you?

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: After the storm; Area; Cars; Children; Community; Crime; Economic; Family; House; Involved; Jersey Shore (TV); Lived; Neighborhood; Neighbors; New Jersey; Port Monmouth; School system; Schools; Town; Ugly

Subjects: Glenn Perroth talks about himself, his family, and his surrounding community in a brief introduction


GPS: (Port Monmouth, Nj)
Map Coordinates: 40.431363, -74.100469

3:13 - First word of the storm

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Partial Transcript:Okay. And when did you first hear that the storm was coming?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn Perroth speaks about his first media encounters with the storm on TV and radio. His first expectations of the storm

Keywords: Adequate warning; Availability; Before the storm; Clean; Cops; Evacuation warnings; Expect; First thoughts; Floors; Food; Force; High tide; Neighbors; Onshore breeze; Pets; Prepare; Prepared adequately; Radio; Storm; Supplies; Television; Voluntary; Walgreens; Warnings; Water; Yard

Subjects:


GPS: Walgreens (Port Mommouth, Nj)
Map Coordinates: 40.428456, -74.106864

7:51 - First sign of the storm

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Partial Transcript:Okay. Can you describe the weather conditions a little bit? Like, how bad was the wind compared to other times?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn describes his family's first physical encounter with the storm and what they witnessed inside their flooded home.

Keywords: After the storm; Brother; Children; Conditions; Electricity; Firehouse; Fireman; Heat; House; Monday; nervous; Nor'easter; Pool; School; Staten Island; Street; Strong; Sunday; Water; Water rushing; Weather; Wind

Subjects:

12:47 - First impacts of the storm

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Partial Transcript:Okay. And when did your power go out?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn talks more about what he witnessed during the storm.

Keywords: Clean; Clean up; Cleanup; Evacuate; Flood; Flooding; Immediate; Information; Local government; Major issue; Middletown; Morning; Morning before the storm; Night; Power; Prepared; Rescue; Storm; Sunday; Town; Windy; Working; Worried

Subjects:

15:14 - Dealing with the aftermath

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Partial Transcript:And what was going through your head when you woke up the next day?

Segment Synopsis: More aftermath.

Keywords: Blankets; Clean; Clean up; Cleanup; Damage; Lucky; Major plus; Mess; Mom; Neighbors; Respond; Shocked; Staten Island; Working

Subjects:

18:09 - First contacts after the storm / The damages

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Partial Transcript:And who did you contact first?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn talks about his initial interactions with FEMA and his insurance company. He speaks more on his home's damages.

Keywords: Cell phones; Communication; Community; Concern; Contact; Damages; FEMA; Flood; Flood insurance; Furniture; House; Insurance; Mold; Neighborhood; Phones; Service; Son; Storm; Water

Subjects:

21:50 - Short term effects of the storm

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Partial Transcript:And can you take us a little bit through the next day and next week? How long did it take you to get back to work?

Segment Synopsis: Some of the initial hardships experienced because of the storm

Keywords: Election; Foodtown; Gas; Gas station lines; Gas stations; Generators; Kids; Staten Island; Stores; Work; Working

Subjects:

24:08 - Government assistance / Church assistance / Other assistance

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Partial Transcript:Oh wow, that’s great. So you found a lot of help from people in the community, people you knew?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn talks about the agents that were present after the storm to help out, and whether they actually did or not.

Keywords: Amish; Blankets; Carpentry; Church; Community; Cook; Electricity; Flooded; Fortunate; Gas; Help; Helped; Helping; Home Depot; Lowe's; Mail; Mail service; Office; Port Monmouth; Rebuild; Red Cross; Supplies; Weeks after the storm

Subjects:

26:50 - Trash and trash pickup

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Partial Transcript:And what about trash pickup?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn speaks on a little mentioned thing of the storms, the amount of garbage everywhere.

Keywords: Clean; Clean up; Cleanup; Couches; FEMA; Power; Street; Sunday; Support; Trash; Yard

Subjects:

28:38 - FEMA and Insurance / Lost homes

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Partial Transcript:Now you said that FEMA came and they wouldn’t help you because you had insurance. Can you tell me about your experience with your insurance company? How helpful were they?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn speaks on insurance and FEMA, who paid and who didn't, and what what he had to spend to get their assistance. His daughter Nicole, a first grade teacher talks about how many of her students lost their homes.

Keywords: After the storm; Community; Construction; Family; FEMA; Fire; Friends; Helped; House; Insurance; Money; Port Monmouth; Rebuild; Safe; Teacher

Subjects:

33:14 - Police response / Community Response

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Partial Transcript:And can you talk a little bit about the response from the police, and their role in the rebuilding?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn is asked about police response in the community and again mentioned how helpful the churches were. He also says he received assistance from the Boy Scouts.

Keywords: Blankets; Bridge; Cash; Clean; Cope; Credit cards; Donating; Emergency personnel; Firehouses; Flood; Generators; Home Depot; Middletown; Money; Morning; Neighborhood; Pillows; Police; Rebuild; Religious communities; Response; Sears; Without power

Subjects:

37:22 - Government response

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Partial Transcript:And now I just want to go into a little bit, the government response, and break it down between local, state, and federal. Did your local municipal government, how were they trying to help out.

Segment Synopsis: Glenn talks about government response and officials on every level. He discusses a past event and what the local government did to deal with it

Keywords: Beach; Chris Christie; Christie; Dunes; federal government; Floodgates; Governor; Governor Christie; Keansburg; Levees; Local government; Mother Nature; Neighborhood; New Jersey; President; President Obama; Response; State government; Water

Subjects:

42:39 - Media coverage

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Partial Transcript:And how did you feel about the media coverage that was happening? Was it accurate, or was it more sensationalized?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn briefly discusses the media coverage of the storm from his perspective.

Keywords: Accurate; Before the storm; Media; Media coverage; Sam Champion; Sensational; Union Beach; Weather

Subjects:

43:47 - Devastating loss in Union Beach / Insurance company procedure

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Partial Transcript:Union Beach lost a lot of houses. Six blocks of houses are gone.

Segment Synopsis: Glenn talks about a particularly affected area near him. Insurance company practices.

Keywords: Beach; Channel 7; Flood insurance; Foundation; Houses; Loss; Lost; Night; Port Monmouth; Property; Towns; Township; Union Beach; Waterfront; Waves

Subjects:

47:17 - Frustration with Obama assistance and FEMA

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Partial Transcript:And can you talk a little bit about your opinion of Obama and his response?

Segment Synopsis: Glenn discusses some of his frustrations with the Executive branch's actions and FEMA.

Keywords: concerned; Emergency; FEMA; Floodgates; Inadequate; Insurance; Money; New Jersey; Obama; Response; State aid; State of emergency; Taxes; Tornado

Subjects:

49:40 - Obama's visit to New Jersey / Opinion on Governor Christie

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Partial Transcript:

Segment Synopsis: Political figures and their motives are discussed.

Keywords: Cared; Christie; Hurricane Katrina; Neighborhood; New Jersey; New Orleans; Obama; Political; Staten Island; Storm; Town

Subjects:

52:00 - Lasting impact / Closing thoughts

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Partial Transcript:And do you think this storm has shaped your view of environmental issues in any way?

Segment Synopsis:

Keywords: Children; Community; Environmental issues; Global warming; Grandchildren; Gubernatorial campaign; House; Hurricane; Presidential campaign; Shore; Storm; Water

Subjects: Closing thoughts on the lasting effects that the storm caused and how it affected Glenn's outlook on the future.

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