Staring Out to Sea: Stories of the Jersey Shore in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

Aired: May 31, 2015


On October 29, 2012, the NJ coastline was struck by a devastating storm. With echoes of Katrina swirling through the public imagination, the state braced for inevitable destruction. The storm bore down on the state for two days but left extensive and long-lasting damage in its wake. Ultimately, Sandy resulted in 159 deaths, tens of thousands displaced, and, as of 2013, an estimated $37 billion in damage statewide.

More significantly, it created a network of relationships as victims, volunteers, and state and federal agencies came together to rebuild communities. Abigail Perkiss, Assistant Professor of History at Kean University, is directing Staring out to Sea: The Story of Superstorm Sandy in Three Bayshore Communities, an oral history project that is documenting the stories of that network; it chronicles the experiences of the residents, business owners, politicians and policymakers, volunteers and relief workers, and the federal agencies that set out to support and manage these efforts.

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