22 Aug 2014
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Bridgewater First Responders Help Devastated Shore

Martinsville's John Cowley and Green Knoll's Mark Vogt go to Union Beach to help with rescue efforts.

Bridgewater First Responders Help Devastated Shore Bridgewater First Responders Help Devastated Shore Bridgewater First Responders Help Devastated Shore

In Bridgewater, residents are dealing with fallen trees and power lines, power outages through half of the town and much more—but down the shore, the houses have simply floated away.

Martinsville Rescue Squad Chief John Cowley, and Green Knoll Rescue Squad Lt. Mark Vogt headed down to Union Beach Tuesday to aid in rescue efforts as part of a state force deployed to aid in efforts after the superstorm.

The two deployed at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday to help those who were flooded out of their homes.

"A couple years back, this group was put together, and they called us and asked if we were available," Cowley said.

The two brought one rig down south to begin aiding in the efforts.

And what they saw in Union Beach was nothing short of incredible.

"It's a mess down there," Cowley said. "The water came up very high and houses collapsed."

When the water began flooding the area, Cowley said, many houses were separated from their foundations, and they began to float down the street. Once the water receded, he said, the houses simply dropped wherever they landed, some in the middle of the street.

"We lost power, but that's nothing compared to the people down there," he said.

Once there, Cowley said, he and Vogt were dispatched to pick up people who were displaced when the flooding began.

"We were going into an area where the homes were more tightly packed," Cowley said, adding that it is much more densely populated than Bridgewater. "We're more affluent here, and the people are not as heavily impacted."

Cowley said that it is a world of difference between down the shore and in Bridgewater, with both dealing with separate problems.

"We went inland, and we saw that debris had dropped [where the storm touched down]," he said. "We are fortunate here, it could have been worse and we could have been hit like Union Beach."

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