Jersey Shore music helped bring unity to the area

Charlotte Nagy had a front row seat to Superstorm Sandy.

Nagy, then a 16-year-old living with her parents in Rumson, documented her experiences on video. She posted it to YouTube on Nov. 3, 2012, five days after the storm touched down at the Jersey Shore on Oct. 29.

“Hurricane Sandy: A Documentary” put a human face on the destruction.

“For me I hate watching it because it does feel like I’m reading a page out of a diary,” Nagy said. “I was so young and dramatic … But at the same time it was my way of expressing myself when it was such a crazy time and we didn’t know what was going on. There was no power. We didn’t know if there were people in Sea Bright. We didn’t know if people lost their lives. It was a scary time and for me it was my own creative outlet.”

The rock group Train saw the video and came to Sea Bright to perform an outdoor concert for 500 residents, first responders and National Guardsmen on a bitter cold December night. The event was broadcast by VH1, and it included an interview with Nagy about her film.

“I had met them a couple of times,” said Nagy of Train. “It was a really cool teenage girl experience to have (my favorite band perform), … but I had no idea so much was going to come out of that. I was kind of like, ‘I like this song (“Brick by Brick”), it works for this part of the video. Alright, now it’s time to rebuild.’ “

Jersey Shore music helped locals buck up to face Sandy’s aftermath, and Jersey Shore music stars helped draw national attention to the plight the area faced.

The owner of Anjelica’s on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright put up a sign over what remained: “No Retreat … No Surrender,” from the Bruce Springsteen song, “No Surrender.” Sandy fundraising movements took their names from Springsteen songs, including “Sea Bright Rising” and “10th Avenue Freeze-out” in Belmar.

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