0:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence, and today is September third, and I am at the Bayshore Community Center. Can you state your name?

MARY EDWARDS: Mary Edwards.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. And your age, if you don't mind sharing?

MARY EDWARDS: I'm seventy-three.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and can you state your ethnicity for the record? Your ethnicity.

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, you mean, like--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Your race. (laughs)

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, I guess I'm white. Is that what you want?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes. (laughs) So how long have you lived in your home?

MARY EDWARDS: In my home now?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: Eight years.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and at the time, how much was it when you purchased it?

MARY EDWARDS: Purchased the house?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: $335,000.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. How many rooms are in the home?

MARY EDWARDS: Six rooms and two bathrooms.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, how many floors?

MARY EDWARDS: One.

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

1:00

MARY EDWARDS: Well, my sister and I sold a two-family house in Keansburg, and we bought a one-family house in West Keansburg, where we live now.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Is there any specific reason for the neighborhood?

MARY EDWARDS: No. Nope.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: All right. Where did you live prior to living in--

MARY EDWARDS: Right across the street, Forest Avenue, right around the corner from the center.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: So you lived there all your life?

MARY EDWARDS: No, I lived there for thirty years. And then I lived in another part of Keansburg for fifteen years.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Oh, okay.

MARY EDWARDS: And then I lived where I am now for eight years. I came from Brooklyn, New York--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. What part of Brooklyn?

MARY EDWARDS: --in 1965.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: What part of Brooklyn?

MARY EDWARDS: Red Hook, Brooklyn.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So who makes up your family, who lives in the home with you?

MARY EDWARDS: My sister and I.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Do you have a current occupation?

MARY EDWARDS: I'm a retired crossing guard.

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

MARY EDWARDS: Well I retired in--I worked there for fifteen years. I forgot when 2:00I retired. Eighty-something. I can't remember.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. What do you like about living in New Jersey, what attracts you to the area?

MARY EDWARDS: I don't really--I don't know, because we lived in a pretty desolated neighborhood, so wherever you moved was an improvement, you know? But my in-laws lived down here, so they saw this house for us, and we came down and looked at it and we took it. It was very small, though, so we stayed there for fifteen years.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So tell me about the neighborhood, are you involved in any way?

MARY EDWARDS: No, no. Just, this is my only out. And I'm in the local fire company, I'm in the Ladies Auxiliary--

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: --for forty-seven years, I'm there.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So, tell me about when you first heard about the storm. What did you expect?

MARY EDWARDS: Well, I didn't expect what we got. I just got a little scared 3:00because of the water and everything. We live very near the water. And I said to my brother--he lives in the middle of Hazlet, where he's not surreounded by water--I said, +ACI-I'll go with you,+ACI- and my sister went with her son. And it worked out. I only stayed there for two days because there was no water around my house, so I came home.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: We had no lights, though.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you prepare the house in any way before you left?

MARY EDWARDS: I don't know what you mean.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you--

MARY EDWARDS: We shut everything off.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Did you raise stuff off the ground?

MARY EDWARDS: No, we were high enough. Well, we were high, we didn't think we'd get hit with that water, you know? Which we didn't, thank god.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: So, I guess you took heed to the evacuation warnings?

MARY EDWARDS: Yes, they told us to evacuate, yes, and we did.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, so where were you when the storm actually hit?

MARY EDWARDS: I was at my brother's house in Hazlet.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: And what were the conditions of the weather?

4:00

MARY EDWARDS: The weather was--the wind, the wind was the worst. The rain. And we had no television or anything. We just had a radio to find out what was going on around us. That was all.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Did power ever go out?

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, we had no power at all. No power at all. Even before we left my house it was gone. I don't know when it went out, but it was gone.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: Yeah, so we had the gas jets in the kitchen, which we heated up, you know, water or something, but that was it.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So when you woke up the next day and you went outside, what did it look like?

MARY EDWARDS: Like a tornado. There were no trees. I mean, they were down. Everything was flooded. But I was safe. So I didn't go out of the house, so I don't know about the rest of the neighborhood, you know. I was afraid to go out.

(both laugh)

MARY EDWARDS: I had no boat.

(laughter)

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: So you went back home.

5:00

MARY EDWARDS: Yes. After two days, I left my brother's house and went back home, and it was the same conditions at my house. So I wanted to be in my own house.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Downed trees and everything?

MARY EDWARDS: Yes. Well not bad, not bad, but, you know, they were there. But we got into my house. Leaves all over, twigs, things like that. But it wasn't bad at all.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Can you describe the mood of the community?

MARY EDWARDS: I really wasn't out there. You know, I didn't go out for--it must have been two weeks. It had to be two weeks until I got out again.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Oh, you stayed in?

MARY EDWARDS: I did, because there was no transportation. And it was flooded in Keansburg. And things were bad, things were very bad. The stores, you couldn't get into the stores, you know? And you had to go get supples from--the army gave out supplies, the National Guard up in Union Beach. But I didn't have to go up. My son would go up and see if we needed anything, you know?

6:00

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So did you suffer any damage to you home?

MARY EDWARDS: No, the only thing we lost was two refrigerator and freezers full of food. We were very fortunate, very fortunate.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and that was due to the power outage.

MARY EDWARDS: The power outage, right. But we had no water damage at all.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: We were very fortunate.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: That's good. So the aid that you got when you were at home, can you talk more about that?

MARY EDWARDS: Aid?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: We didn't get any aid.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: You know, since you were in the house--

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, you mean my son?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY EDWARDS: My son went to the store for us. Or her son--my sister's son went. That's all we ever needed, you know? We were very fortunate, very fortunate.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: You weren't cold or anything?

MARY EDWARDS: Of course we were. (laughs) So we turned the gas jets on during the day, in the kitchen, and it really warmed up the house a little bit, but at nighttime we were freezing.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: Yeah.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yeah.

MARY EDWARDS: But we were under all the blankets. So we took a lot of naps. 7:00(laughs) Yeah. Compared to other people, we were still in our own home, you know what I mean?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY EDWARDS: It meant a lot. It meant a lot.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right. Do you think that New Jersey prepared adequately for the storm?

MARY EDWARDS: I don't think anybody could prepare adequately for this storm. Nobody knows--I mean, weathermen say it's going to rain today and it doesn't rain. You know what I mean? So when they say the wind is going to be a hundred miles an hour, we don't know if it's going to be a hundred miles an hour. That's not up to our weatherman. He could look at a map, but when it actually comes, then I would believe it. You know? But other than that, I don't think you could prepare for anything like we had.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So, when you did regain power and television, do you think that the media accurately portrayed what was going on, or it was more so sensationalized?

MARY EDWARDS: It was all local news. It was about the subway system, you know--I 8:00was involved in that because that's where my brother works. It was about towns like Union Beach, Long Branch, you know, places like that. But we had them in Keansburg, you know, the governor came here, but I didn't see any of it. I never went out to see it. I just thought the media covered it, but it was all the time, all the time, the same thing. You know what I mean? We need this, we need this, we need this. And people, I think, overall, got what they wanted, but there's a lot of people still there today, and it's nine months later--ten months later, and they don't have anything. You know? I mean, you go through Keansburg and you see people knocking their houses down, homes down. That's awful. But it's all--you can't repair this. You can't repair it. You can't. And 9:00you can't prepare for it. You know, that's what you want. That's what my thoughts are. There's no way of listening to a weatherman, and he's going to tell me it's going to rain two inches. This weekend, they said it was going to rain for three days. It rained--I don't think it spritted--you know? So I don't know. I get up everyday and see what the weather is, and that's what I live by. I put my raincoat on or I don't. That's all.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: So have things returned back to normal?

MARY EDWARDS: I don't think it'll ever be back to normal around here. Never. Never. When you see--it's just not the same.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY EDWARDS: Everybody's--you know, they lost a lot. They lost a lot. They lost a lot. Yes they did. I don't think--I really don't think it'll be the same, because all these homes are gone. And what's left here is shattered, you know. I 10:00mean, they have pieces missing out of their homes, and windows missing, and they're coping. I don't know how they're doing it. I really don't. I know a lot of people still in hotels.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Right.

MARY EDWARDS: But that's only hearsay. I don't know that for sure because I don't know anybody that's there. Like I say, I'm a homebody. I don't come out. I come to the center a couple of times a week, and that's it, you know? I like my house. (both laugh) I do.

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

MARY EDWARDS: Oh yes. We bought an older home. Well, it was a newer home, but it was demolished. People never took care of it. So we had to take a mortgage to have new windows put in, new doors, and things like that, besides the regular price of the house. We bought it for almost the same price we sold our other house for, but we had to take a mortgage to put a lot into it. A new heating system, you know, things like that.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yeah, maintenance.

11:00

MARY EDWARDS: Yeah, maintenance, a lot of maintenance--doors, windows. But we're very happy there, it's a nice big house. We were happy in the other house, but it was too big, because it was a two-family and we're both widows, so we bought a one-family. So we're very happy there. I'm very contented.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Do you think that the storm had an impact on the presidential election?

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, I'm not a very political person. I vote for whom I love to look at, (laughs) listen to. I'm not--I don't know, if I get an impression of somebody that's who I vote for, you know? I don't compare, I don't compare, I just like one person and that's who I voted for, you know?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Do you think that the lack of power, people not being able to make it to polls or their voting station moved had something--

MARY EDWARDS: Oh, I think it was horrible. I think it was horrible. I mean, there was no place, you couldn't go to my firehouse to vote, that's where we always vote, because it was demolished. So you had to go some place else, and if 12:00you couldn't get there, you didn't vote. So it did have an impact, if that's what you mean.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. Do you think that there will be an impact on the governor election?

MARY EDWARDS: The governor of New Jersey?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: I personally think he was wonderful. You know, I mean, from what I've heard. I've always liked Christie. I followed him since--knew what college he went to and everything. You know, and I was always interested in him. I think he's a straightforward person.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay.

MARY EDWARDS: You know, he tells you what it is. And I don't know if people like that, but I think I like it. I like to know where I'm going, and he always told us where we were going. He did. He was very good.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay. So, is there a word of advice that you can give to those who suffered in Moore, Oklahoma? Do you have any advice that you could possibly--

13:00

MARY EDWARDS: No. I just think that these people just have to have a lot of patience. And I know the help is out there. Why aren't the people getting it, I don't know. I have no idea why they're not all fixed up already. I mean, like I've said before, it's been ten months, and these people don't have any place to go yet. It's horrible, horrible. And I just--they have had a lot of patience, but I think patience is running out with this. I really do. I don't know what else to say. I'm glad I'm not--I'm glad I wasn't involved in it, but I don't know what we would do if we were, because I haven't had that experience, you know? That's all I could think of.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: All right. Do you think the storm carries any legacy or any central message?

MARY EDWARDS: Message. What would the message be? That you can't take anything 14:00for granted, that you never know what the weather's going to be tomorrow, you know. That you never know what we're going to be dealt. That's all I can say.

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Okay, and is there anything else you'd like to share that I possibly didn't cover?

MARY EDWARDS: No, I'm really, really a very fortunate person. You know, so what? We lost food, we lost our electricity. But those things can be fixed, but these people have no homes, you know? So it was hard thing for them to take, and they're still dealing with it, where I consider myself a very fortunate person. But I don't know about the other people, I really don't know their problems. I care, like if they needed help, we would help them. But everybody came in--the National Guard came in, the churches came in, and they helped the people, so 15:00fortunately we didn't have to ask for the help. So, that's about all I can think of. Just, you have to have a lot of patience with something like this. And like I say, you can never prepare for it, because it's worse than it was, and if you get affected by it, it's worse than worst. That's all I can tell you, honey. You know? Is that what you were looking for?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes, that's it.

MARY EDWARDS: That's all?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: That's it?

TRUDI-ANN LAWRENCE: Yes.

MARY EDWARDS: That's wonderful.

(Trudi laughs)

end of interview

0:00 - Introduction

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:My name is Trudi-Ann Lawrence, and today is September third, and I am at the Bayshore Community Center.

Segment Synopsis: An introduction to the interview of Mary Edwards.

Keywords:

Subjects:

0:09 - Brief biography

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Can you state your name?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards who is seventy-three years old, has lived in here home in Keansburg for eight years. Her house is six rooms, two bathrooms and one floor home.

Keywords: Bayshore Community Center; Brooklyn; Crossing Guard; Keansburg; New Jersey; Sister; West Keansburg

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,Nj.)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299

2:50 - Preparing for the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:So, tell me about when you first heard about the storm. What did you expect?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards gives a brief description of what she was expecting from the storm. Everything Edwards expected to happen during the storm had happened such as, power outages, and fallen trees.

Keywords: Evacuate; Evacuation warnings; Fallen trees; Hazlet; House; Lights; No Power; Prepare; Radio; Rain; Sister; Son; Tornado; Water; Wind

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,N.j)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299

3:46 - During the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:So where were you when the storm actually hit?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards stayed with her brother in Hazlet, New Jersey during the storm. She experienced rain,wind and power outages at her brothers house.

Keywords: Brother; Evacuation; Gas; Heat; Neighborhood; Outside; Power; Radio; Rain; Storm; Television; Tornado; Trees; Wind

Subjects:


GPS: Hazlet, Nj.
Map Coordinates: 40.428946, -74.169917

5:02 - The aftermath of the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:So you went back home?

Segment Synopsis: After staying at Edwards brother's house for two days, she decided to go home because the conditions were just as bad at her house. Trees had fallen and twigs covered the ground. Luckily she did not have any water damage. She believes that no one could have adequately prepared for the storm.

Keywords: Aid; Brother; Cold; Community; Damage; Fortunate; Freezer; Gas; Home; House; Keansburg; Leaves; Mood; National Guard; Power outage; Prepared; Prepared adequately; Rain; Sister; Son; Stores; Storm; Supplies; Transportation; Trees; Union Beach; Water; Weather; Wind

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,N.j)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299

7:47 - How the media and Long Branch, Union Beach and Keansburg communities reacted to the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:So, when you did regain power and television, do you think that the media accurately portrayed what was going on, or it was more so sensationalized?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards discusses how the media represented the storm in Union Beach, Long Branch and Keansburg. She also says how the media covered the storm and talked about is all the time. Edwards says that now people don't even have houses and are staying in hotels. According to Edwards, things will never go back to normal in Keansburg.

Keywords: Brother; Governor; Home; Hotels; Houses; Keansburg; Long Branch; Lost; Media; Mortgage; News; Normal; Rain; Sensationalized; Town; Union Beach; Weather; Window

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,N.j)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299

11:19 - How the storm impacted the elections

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Do you think that the storm had an impact on the presidential election?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards is not a political person, so for the presidential election she just voted who looked the best. Edwards also states that it was hard to vote. Many of the voting places were closed. Edwards does thinks the storm impacted the governor's election but she thinks Christie does a great job as governor. Edwards talks about the people who have suffered in Oklahoma and her advise for them is to remain patient.

Keywords: Christie; Election; Experience; Firehouse; Governor; Help; Horrible; Moore, Oklahoma; Oklahoma; Patient; Political; Power; Vote

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,N.j)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299

13:53 - Edwards central message of the storm

Play segmentSegment link

Partial Transcript:Do you think the storm carries any legacy or any central message?

Segment Synopsis: Edwards central message is hat no one can take anything for granted. She considers herself to be a very fortunate during and after the storm, because there were a lot of people willing to help.

Keywords: Affect; Electricity; Food; Fortunate; Helped; Legacy; Message; Patient; Prepare; Weather

Subjects:


GPS: Bayshore Community Center (Keansburg,N.j)
Map Coordinates: 40.448444, -74.129299
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