Waiting for Hurricane Sandy on the Bay in Ship Bottom
Ship Bottom resident Lucille Ascolillo, along with her husband, Bobby, son Frank and their two dogs, were hunkered down and weathering the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the 19th Street cove on Bay Terrace Monday.
“We have power, but no internet, cable or phone,” she said at 3:30 p.m. as the family awaited the worst still to come. Water had already entered the ground floor by Monday morning, she said, but her confidence remained high as the original portion of the house was built in 1933.
She could feel the house shaking as unrelenting winds slammed the north-facing side, she said.
“I didn’t get really nervous until maybe about a half hour ago, when the wind started picking up,” she said. Looking straight down the street from her house to the ocean beach, she could see the roadway was completely under water. One of their four vehicles, a compact car, was submerged over its windshield.
“We’re the only ones left on our street,” she said. A neighbor’s boat, apparently having floated off its trailer, was lodged between a garage and a trash can corral. “Somebody’s shed just went by,” she said, referring to the plastic kind that snaps together.
The Ascollillos’ shared mindset (though subject to change as the winds rapidly increased) is one of mostly calm resignation. “Frankly, what are we going to do?” They have the basic necessities for an extended period without power, and most important, they have each other.
“We’re very calm because all this stuff is just stuff. We’re all together. We’re all in one place. What’s the worst that could happen? The house is secure. Water is water.”
Their decision to stay was based on the welfare of the dogs, which they could not take with them to the evacuation shelter at Southern Regional High School in Manahawkin. The closest place accepting pets, she said, was at Pinelands Regional Junior High School in Little Egg Harbor.
Frank Ascolillo, a Ship Bottom volunteer firefighter, was at the firehouse Sunday night and said the National Guard had reported some 200 people remaining in Ship Bottom. About six firefighters were standing by at the firehouse Monday afternoon, waiting for calls to help stranded residents or assist in any other way they could, she added.