North Bergen may not have been as devastated as other nearby towns hit by Hurricane Sandy three weeks ago, but residents are still cleaning up, as well as discussing how Sandy brought communities together in their time of need.
Various stories have emerged in the storm’s aftermath, including the tale of Joan Edson.
Joan Edson came to town to celebrate her 80th birthday her cousin on Tuesday, Oct. 30. She came from Michigan and traveled with her daughter, Janice Edson from California.
Joan was visiting Dawn Bryan, who lives at Roc Harbour. The community is by the waterfront and was heavily flooded by the high tide.
The North Bergen Police urged residents like Bryan to head to the emergency shelter at North Bergen High School.
Bryan was reluctant to leave, but she wanted her family to be safe, so they went to the shelter. She also brought her dog Zoey and her two cats.
Bryan remembered the shelter having a VCR player and watching “20,000 Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.”
“North Hudson communities cooperate with one another.” - Director of Public Safety Michael Caliguiro
“I will never complain about 80 degree fall weather,” joked Janice.
“I was thankful to be there,” said Joan. “It’s something you see on TV and you think, ‘Those poor people,’ but you never think [that’s going to be you].”
Guttenberg offers a helping hand
After the storm, Guttenberg regained power fairly quickly and helped neighboring towns in their time of need. The town leant a light tower and generator to Jersey City’s Red Cross. The items had previously been used in West New York.
“North Hudson communities cooperate with one another,” said Director of Public Safety Michael Caliguiro. “We have a good rapport with all the North Hudson communities, North Hudson OEM’s [Office of Emergency Management] and public safety directors. It’s only through the cooperation of the North Hudson mayors, chiefs of police, and directors of police and the OEM that we’ve worked together to get the operation done.”
Caliguiro who volunteered for Hurricane Andrew in 1992, knows what coming together in times of need is all about.
Giving back to the community
Robert Fulton School’s Technology teacher, Theresa Iannantuano, planned to debut her first children’s book, “Who Took My Lunch?” last week. She decided to give back to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“I've decided to donate a portion of my book sales on the night of my reading to the Township of North Bergen Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort,” said Ianantuano. “I will be donating $5 from each book sold November 13th… the money can be used to buy supplies, blankets, and warm clothing for North Bergen families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
Vanessa Cruz can be reached at email@example.com