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HomeSuperstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy Fleet Updates and Reports
as of November 6, 2012

Fastest Lightning In North America takes on Superstorm Sandy!
By Jason Lutz

In the afternoon of Monday, October 29 as Hurricane Sandy was about to make landfall in southern New Jersey, Lightning 15166 was parked in the Lutz driveway. As big breeze ripped down the Metedeconk River, one gust gave the boat, which was strapped to the trailer, some "liftoff", but safely returned it to the ground. Seeing this and our neighbor's powerboat topple off its blocks, my father and I ran outside to tie the boat down. At first, we tied the front and back of the trailer to the tow-bars of our Lincoln Navigator. But as the night continued, the river water began to rise at a rapid pace, causing us to have to move the cars down to the end of the street. At that point, we tried to tie the boat in any way possible to keep it in the front yard. We began wrapping the lines through the Lightning trailer, around the in-ground basketball hoop, and then to our Edgewater powerboat. There was nothing pretty about it and we were almost certain the basketball hoop would go down with one big gust, but with the water beginning to surround our property, we just tied it anyway we could. As we evacuated that night in waist deep water, my dad checked on the boat one last time and the rumors flying around the family were that he uttered the phrase: "my lightning before my children."

It took almost a day before the water receded enough for us to make it back to the house. When my dad, Jonathan, and I did get back to the house, we were pleased to find the Lightning, powerboat, and the 420 still right where we left them. Even the basketball hoop was standing. Our wrap job was a success.
As Debbie Probst asked when she saw the pictures, my dad did in fact check on the Lightning before the inside of our house when we returned. To his delight and Matt Fisher's chagrin, not even a hybrid superstorm could damage the "fastest lightning in North America."

In all seriousness though, Hurricane Sandy brought winds and a storm surge that the New Jersey Shore had never seen before. The Barnegat Bay, where the 2010 North Americans were sailed, was overrun with Atlantic Ocean water as the barrier island between the two was breached with several new, temporary inlets. The destruction was almost unimaginable. It will take years for the shore to return to normalcy and what that normalcy will entail is unknown. For our family, we were lucky to escape with just a flooded home, unlike some homes in the area that were knocked off their foundation and taken into the Bay or simply crumbled to the ground. The hope of all thirteen yacht clubs situated on the Bay are to be able to run their junior programs come summer, some of which register over 100 sailors. For those clubs on the barrier island, that hope may not be possible as early reports indicate some areas will be without utilities for up to eight months. Although the rebuilding process will be lengthy, with the passage of time and some hard work, I can only imagine that the New Jersey shoreline will be as iconic as ever.


Lutz family boats

after the storm

Flooding in Brick, New Jersey
Brant Beach Yacht Club - Fleet 173 took a major hit from Sandy.  The clubs buildings survived with mostly flood damage.   The height of the height of the tide was a good three feet higher than any before.  The property lost a lot of sand and all the fencing.  Boats stored on the property are all over the place.   Three good sized power boats including the RC committee boat are gone; somewhere across the bay we suspect.  One of our docks lost all it's decking and the attenuator on another floated away but ran aground on our property.  14325 is safely tucked away in Lumberton. 14660 is in Ed Serrills garage 90 degrees from where he stored it and it should be fine. Ellis's and Eric Reitinger's were stored off the island.  Those of us who rode it out still have no cable or internet. This is being typed by cell phone, our only contact with the outside world. National Guard have been all over the island as well as guarding the bridge and the marine police have been patrolling the waters to deter looters. Residents were only allowed onto the island for a few hours on the 5th to assess the damage then had to leave.  We do have water, sewer,  and electricity.
All gas on LBI has been shut off, quite possibly for a few months while they try to fix the leaks and damaged lines. Trash in cans was picked up today (we had over thirty out). The cleanup has been on going where our son Matt and his friend Will have been helping clean out many friends' houses and removing wet carpet.  Tomorrow they are calling for a noreaster. Hopefully it will spare us any more major flooding.  Below is a picture of our 1983 6th place President's Cup trophy which survived the 44 inches of flooding in our first floor garage. Here's the link of the news segment that we were featured on the CBS National News from November 1:;flexGridModule  Matt has also been around taking pictures of the destruction and damage and posting them on facebook.

We also lost former Lightning sailor (not due to the storm) Sam Streep  at the age of 92. Sam was a big lightning sailor in the 50s through the 70s. He then moved over to the Mariner class and was a very active club member.

Reitinger Trophy

Ocean City Yacht Club - Lightning Fleet 430: Most of our Lightnings were not in the boatyard during Sandy.  The ones left in the yard had minimal damage. Not so for the OCYC club house.  Water reached 18 -24 inches throughout the club. Total damage to all rugs, flooring, kitchen equipment, furniture, etc., etc.!! 6 to 8 folks have been ripping everything including wall paneling up to 3 ft for 4 days.  Total damage cost and time to repair -unknown at this time!
John Parker

Surf City Yacht Club - Fleet 196: Our first thoughts are for everyone affected by the storm. Surf City Yacht Club (Surf City, NJ) was damaged by Sandy, but right now the bridge to Long Beach Island is closed and I have to thank the people still on the island for the limited information. The reports and pictures show there was a couple of feet of water above the bulkheads and extensive flooding in the street, marina, and grounds. The main clubhouse is intact but flooded, and docks and grounds will need extensive work. Once the bridge is open again we'll have a better idea of what happened and the status of the club. You can see photos at at the SCYC Facebook page: 
Darryl Waskow

Monmouth Boat Club - Fleet 70:  Hurricane Sandy certainly devastated Monmouth Boat Club (Red Bank, NJ). The Navesink River rose 8 to 11 feet, washing away most of our docks and boats stored in the yard. One stack of three docks remains in the yard, one is behind the ice boat clubhouse which shares the same parking lot, one is on top of the marina's dock next door, and many floated across the river as did most of our boats.
One Carolina boat was upside down in the lagoon but rescued by a number of members including one who donned his dry suit and jumped in the water. The other Carolina boat was right side up and found down the river. The Committee Boat was already on land at a marina and is fine. Most of the missing Optis have been found and many of the boats left in the yard for winter storage floated across the river. The club's Flying Scots were located and towed back to the club, one still attached to the trailer, a testament to the sturdiness of the boat. 

As for the clubhouse, even though it has weathered flooding before, most recently with Hurricane Irene, this time the water was 6 feet deep. The single door facing the water was ripped off the hinges and the first floor was flooded with water and mud. The water made it almost to the second floor and the electrical panel was destroyed as was the ice machine. We were very lucky the building did not catch fire, as transformers popped all across the area. The wiring on the first floor will have to be replaced, along with the furnace, water heater and ice machine. The utilities have been turned off until further assessment can be made. 

We are a club that depends on volunteers to maintain the facilities and run the operations and many of those same volunteers were adversely affected by the storm on a personal level. Despite the destruction, the members will pull together to restore and improve our beautiful house on the river. 
Jackie Cattanach, 3rd Rear Commodore

Monmouth Boat Club, Flood waters rose to the first floor windows. Photo by Rik VanHemmen

Lightning moved by storm, Monmouth Boat Club

Nyack Boat Club – Fleet 75: Sandy hit the Nyack Boat Club hard, but fortunately the Lightning fleet emerged unscathed. The club is located on the west bank of the Hudson River just north of the Tappan Zee bridge, about 20 miles upriver from New York City.  The storm surge driven by high winds came over the club's bulkhead into the drysail area, but our Lightnings had been taken home or to the club’s upper parking area beyond the reach of the water.  The decking on the main pier extending 300 feet into the river sustained damage, as did finger docks off the pier and the bulkhead. Part of the porch roof of the clubhouse came down in the wind. Club members came out in force to make repairs and have already made considerable progress despite loss power for about a week and an initial shortage of gasoline.  The facilities should be fully restored soon, and the fleet looks forward to hosting the 2013 Lightning Masters, Women’s and Junior Championships next August! 
Dick Leonard

Paupack - Fleet 16: Much of area had closed roads and was out of power up until Monday with utilities and trees down everywhere.Back to normal now. Our fleet of 8 was all safely "in the barn" at the end of September as our docks come out early October.  Winter comes quickly up here. 
Sandi Scull

Orient Yacht Club - Fleet 506: Hurricane Sandy roared across the North Fork of Long Island causing wide spread damage. For photo's see the Shelter Is Reporter or the Suffolk Times newspapers. Thankfully we were spared from the storms furry. As the wind was in the NE then shifting SE and then S, the Orient YC was mostly on the lee shore. Due to the tidal surge of 7 or so feet we did get some water in the club house but only minimal, not even enough to float 420s and some small dinks that were stored in the building for the winter.
Damage to the club was almost non existent, thank goodness. The Lightning's were all at their owners homes and sustained no damage. My boat was in a neighbors garage and strapped to the trailer. It did float in the garage but as the flood waters exceeded it came down in its original position. Needless to say we were lucky especially considering the western end of Long Island and the NJ shore.
George W. Koch

Southampton Yacht Club - Fleet 431: We faired well because our new clubhouse was constructed 2 feet higher then the base flood elevation required by FEMA.  We have some damage to our floating docks but all in all we are very fortunate.  We are awaiting the occurrence of the Nor’easter which is do to arrive tomorrow afternoon.   We will have water in the parking lot again but that is normal.
Tim Rumph

Cedar Point Yacht Club - Fleet 126: Thanks to the tireless work of Trey and the staff and help from members who cleared out the drystall area – and to a lower-than-expected storm surge – CPYC’s boats and buildings were spared any significant damage by Sandy. The water came within an inch of the first floor of the clubhouse but no further – and nothing in the building even got wet. It crested about two feet below the tops of the pilings, thanks in part to a wind shift to the south before the peak tide. The water was about a foot higher than Irene, and the workshop/junior sailing building had about four feet up the walls, so drywall on the ground floor will need to be replaced and the wiring inspected.
The biggest impact was on the beach, landscaping, seawall, parking lot and the playground. There’s about a foot of sand, rocks and shells in the driveway and clubhouse parking lot, most of it washed up from the beach. Some 2- and 3-foot boulders from the seawall were pushed 10 feet into the parking lot and onto the lawn by the force of the surge. Parts of the seawall are gone and the lawn along the rocks eroded. The playground is the biggest mess, with much of the fence gone, tree roots exposed and some of the equipment damaged.

Trey, Justin and Matt have been hard at work cleaning up, hauling shells and debris off the lawns and hosing salt water off the plantings. A Bobcat and possibly other equipment was set to begin working today to put the beach back where it belongs and to start rebuilding the seawall. Trey expects to have most debris on the parking lot cleared away by the end of the weekend and most everything rebuilt in about a week. The power company at the moment says we should have electricity back Monday or Tuesday. 

All in all, things could have been much, much worse. 
Commodore of Cedar Point Yacht Club

Niantic Bay Yacht Club - Fleet 85
: Niantic Bay Yacht Club is a small sailing club located on the Connecticut shore of eastern Long Island Sound. Our modest clubhouse sits on a sea wall about 7’ above normal high water. A concrete capped stone breakwater, about 3’ above high water, helps protect the clubhouse and floating docks. All club boats were removed to high ground, the upper section of our 70’ flagpole removed, clubhouse doors sealed and sandbagged. Floating docks were pulled and placed in our parking lot and available mushroom anchors tied to them.
We have a brand new steel-with-concrete-piers crane dock with a 2000# and 6000# crane. A section of dock decking was removed to relieve wave pressure from underneath.

We were fortunate. The tide was estimated at about 5’ above normal high. The clubhouse was not damaged other than wet carpet from leaking doors. The crane dock had minor damage as some of the wood deck was lifted. The floating docks did just that – float! The anchors held most in the vicinity of the club but a few were in the streets or neighbor’s yards several hundred yards from the club. One decorative fisherman anchor that was pressed into duty at the last minute snagged a telephone pole and saved a group of 8 docks from floating away! Beach erosion was the biggest problem. The concrete breakwater cap, where it meets the beach, was undermined and broken. The town road that parallels the beach as well as our parking lot was totally impassible with two feet of sand covering it. 

We were far more fortunate that several homes just a few hundred yards away. The fronts of the homes were completely broken, the foundations washed away and the homes destroyed. The road in that area has up to four feet of sand covering it from the severe beach erosion. 

While our electric power is out and probably will be for several more days, we have functioning city water and propane heat. We have opened the club locker rooms as a shower and cleaning facility for those in the neighborhood. 

While we have repairs to do (and a lot of sand to move!) we expect to be fully functional by next spring. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who we know have not been as fortunate. 
Harlan Fredericksen, Commodore 
Thank you to those that submitted reports. Additional reports were obtained from Scuttlebutt Sailing Forum. If any other Fleets would like to post an update please contact the Class Office.

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