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NJ Resident Displaced to Western Mass. by Sandy

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — Hurricane Sandy hit home for one New Jersey resident with ties to Western Massachusetts.

Sandy Lawrence and her family packed up last week and headed to Holyoke to stay with relatives.

Viewing the devastation from afar, Lawrence was able to stay safe.

Finding shelter in Holyoke. For New Jersey resident Sandy Lawrence, escaping the other Sandy meant packing and seeking higher and dryer ground in western Massachusetts.

“My husband and I packed up our cats and came here to my moms here in Holyoke just to be out of the way of the storm. We had stayed last year in Irene which was relatively nothing but that was very hard for us so we just decided to get out of town,” says Lawrence.

Lawrence kept tabs on the weather forecasts and news reports as her hurricane namesake barreled toward her condo in Asbury Park.

“Oh my god, what’s going to happen to our friends to our home. We are two blocks from the beach and we heard about surges that were going to be 40 foot waves which were going to come to us and it did we got water in our property,’ Lawrence adds.

Fortunately, the Lawrence’s condo is on the third and fourth floors. Her neighbors weren’t so lucky and when she was able to reach them by cell phone, they said staying home for the storm was a mistake.

“Wish we had left. Wish we had left. It was frightening especially people with animals. Dogs were frightened for days before. They were trembling,” Lawrence says.

Sandy will return to her Jersey condo when power is back and yes, she will not be fazed by future Sandy copycats

“Every day, we enjoy the ocean view so we don’t think of it as our enemy. We think of it as our friend and now we are a little more cautious but I dot think it would stop me.”

And as for having the same name as storm that devastated her neighborhood, she already a bit tired of the jokes

Lawrence comments, “Someone called me as we were leaving town and said when are you going to blow back into town. That’s gonna be a problem especially that they are calling it the storm of the century. It was Katrina. Now it’s Sandy, Sandy, Sandy.”

Lawrence says she and her family will return to New Jersey once the power has been restored.


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