While local and county officials met repeatedly before Hurricane Irene slammed into Ocean County, local marina owners here quietly worked on their own emergency management plans.
Boats were hauled out of the water, put up on blocks and lashed to the ground. The bayside lot of C&C Marina off Sloop Creek Road looked like it was laced with cobwebs, owner Beth Collis said
Collis and her husband sandbagged around the marina office, poured water into paddling boats to keep them stable, and helped a slew of owners tie down their boats.
"God knows who much we spent on sandbags," Beth said.
When it was all done, they went home and hoped for the best.
Hours later, the rain and wind hit. Before long, Bayview Avenue was underwater. The Collises watched the storm from their nearby Bayville home on a web cam. Good Luck Point Drive flooded. The water came up to the door of their marina office.
Up the road, the Voss family was busy with their own preparations.
Good Luck Point Marina has weathered many storms over the decades. Gail and Roy Voss have owned the business for 47 years.
"Too long," Gail joked. "Much too long."
They knew what to do as the storm approached.
Boats were hauled out of the 115 slips. But Hurricane Irene didn't do near the damage she was supposed to do. The water came up to the office stoop. The highest the wind ever reached was 73 miles per hour, Voss said.
"We made out fine," she said Tuesday. "One boat canvas was torn. We had a lot of water. No big disaster. It looked like it was going to be disastrous."
Ask her what the worst storm the family seen and she answers without hesitation. The December 1992 Nor'easter. There was no comparison between that storm and Hurricane Irene, she said.
"We seem to get hit harder by the Nor'easters," she said.
Bayview Avenue by Monday afternoon was still studded with orange traffic barrels, but dry in many spots.
The late August sun sparkled on the flood waters that still swamped the tidal marshes on the west side of Bayview Avenue. A few streets over, a man and woman lugged soaked carpeting out of their one-story home. All was quiet after the drama that played out over the weekend.