Last summer, manyof us were introduced to a weather phenomenon like none other. It struck withunexpected force and left in its wake devastation not seen in South Jersey inyears.
"Ugh it wascrazy," says Kathy Heck, Manager of Windjammer.
"Most all ofus went to the basement except for my husband, and you know we came out, therewas an unbelievable scenario," explained Liz Readeau, Northfield resident.
‘Crazy' and ‘unbelievable'…these are just few of the words used by residents as they reflect on theviolent derecho that ravaged South Jersey one year ago today.
From leaving carscrushed to businesses burdened,
"Trees fell on thecars, there were several parked in the drive way," says Readeu.
"Actually itwas right before 4th of July so we had to just gotten our shipments in for thebust weekend, we had to get rid of everything," reflected Heck.
Seventy plus milean hour winds savagely ripped trees and telephone poles from the ground,leaving tens of thousands without power.
"And what wasreally something, the local churches were helping a lot of people," chimedin Heck.
Even churchesdirectly affected by the Derecho, like the Church of the Redeemer in Longport,which was struck by a falling telephone pole during the storm, the buildingcaught fire.
One of thechurches board of directors, Tim Dearnley remembers it vividly, "we hadseveral fire companies trying to save the building, but sadly, it went down"
And, yet summerservices did not skip a beat as they were held every Sunday at 10 o'clock undera temporary tent right next to where the storm struck.
The Church of the Redeemer in Longport is just an example of all the damage from the Derecho. Whilethe foundation of the church is just starting to be built again, the communityhas been standing tall all the while
"There was awonderful sense of community; the JCC had a fundraiser for us," Dearnley sayswith a smile.
In the middle ofher busy day at the restaurant, Heck pauses and then adds, "you know youget back on your feet and work extra hard."