Almost three weeks after Super Storm Sandy devastated New Jersey, cleanup crews are having trouble managing the amount of wreckage along the coastlines.
And as many New Jersey residents try to recover fully from the storm, Facebook has become a lifeline for many to connect with loved ones and get news from the area. Users are flocking to pages to share volunteer and donation information, stories, photos, and videos from the storm-ravaged area.
“Sandy made her attack but the shore will be back!!” read a spray-painted sign in one photograph on Jersey Shore Hurricane News.
More than 190,000 “like” the page on Facebook, a page that was started by 32-year-old Justin Auciello. He created the page before Hurricane Irene struck in August 2011, but its full potential was not realized until Sandy so heavily devastated the area.
"When a huge storm hits, most people are not going to have power. So long as your phone is charged, social media can help you stay connected when nothing else can. It’s such a powerful tool," Auciello told the Newark Star-Ledger, the state's largest newspaper.
The page has been used to get people to check on houses and loved ones and in some cases to reunite people with missing family photographs that others have found, The Daily Beast reported.
Another page called simply “Surviving Sandy” lists the volunteer opportunities in and around the area, so that interested parties could help when needed.
The amount of damage cause by the storm is far outpacing the amount of supplies and help the area has received, many residents are saying.
“We expected the worst, but it's so much worse than we thought it would be," one Jersey Shore resident told the Wall Street Journal.
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