With nearly 500 members, Community UCC in Margate, NJ is a regional church with members on and off the island. About 50 members reside in Ocean City, N.J., and the Rev. Fleming said several of them suffered flood damage to their homes, while many mainland members experienced power outages, downed trees and river flooding. Impassable roads hampered travel in some areas.
"Margate has taken on a whole new environment since the storm," Fleming said. "We are living with the beeping sounds of large front-loaders and earth movers as they try to take the beach sand out of the streets and back to the beach or ocean. Piles of sand sit in the streets waiting for removal. What few stores we have are closed and surrounded by water and damage restoration trucks. And scattered around the city are dumpsters awaiting the discarded home furnishings and appliances and family items that have been water soaked and destroyed."
The church sits on higher ground than other nearby buildings, and aside from wind damage to the roof and related leaking; it escaped the full brunt of Sandy's force. The building didn't take on any water, while homes just a few blocks away are flooded, with water reaching as high as 6 feet. Community UCC has electricity and heat, so it proceeded with its scheduled Sunday worship and focused on helping its members and the community to recover.