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Hurricane Irene Coverage for AOL's Patch.com

Hurricane Irene just finished up and I was fortunately called to run around and check some things out. My Stories have bee published for multiple towns on Patch so these four stories are really just two stories.

Before the Storm
Gas Stations - Eatontown
Hurricane Irene’s stroll through Monmouth County is putting the issue of gas back in the spotlight. The gas stations along Route 35 in Eatontown and a couple in Tinton Falls have been hotspots since Wednesday.
Two of the gas stations in Eatontown ran out of gas. The one off Tinton Avenue and Route 35 ran out Friday evening within four hours. However, they are refilled and are ready to go. The manager, Jesse Taha, says the station will remain open and will continue to operate on normal business hours. The only change will be a $0.03 increase in the gas prices. The off Wyckoff Road is only selling diesel fuel. They ran out of gas around 11 a.m. Saturday after receiving a delivery on Friday, said a manager.
The off Route 35 and South Street in Eatontown has also been out of gas since Saturday morning. The manager said the station was depleted of gas within a 24-hour time span on Friday. The convenience store is still open and the station is waiting to be refilled.
The only gas station along Route 35 that was not operating was the off Tinton Avenue and Route 35, across from Fort Monmouth.
In Tinton Falls, the station at the corner of Wayside Road and Water Street is in full service. The station received a refill Friday morning; “I timed it pretty descent,” said the owner Pete McPartland. The owner added that his sales had tripled Friday and he sold about 5,000 gallons, 3,500 gallons up from his usual amount. Eagle’s prices went up $0.04 Friday.
The Wawa gas station off Shafto Road will be closing early Saturday and will re-open on Sunday at noon.  The manager reported that the station hasn’t ran out of gas and they are holding up well.
All the gas stations mentioned that have auto body shops, like Exxon and Eagle Gas, are open.
Gas Stations - Little Silver/Oceanport

After the Storm

Swimming River Road Flood - Tinton Falls

Road Flooded - Middletown
Gus Brandstetter of Middletown, who came to check out the Swimming River Road flood with his wife, was expecting worse from Hurricane Irene’s weather, but agreed that he had never seen a flood like this in all of his life.
Saturday night may have been less catastrophic than expected to some Middletown and Tinton Falls residents who only got winds and rains, but on Swimming River Road, Hurricane Irene delivered more than they thought it would.
Early Sunday, Tinton Falls fire departments, Monmouth County sheriffs and the Tinton Falls Office of Emergency Management (TFOEM) led a search and rescue in the area.
Police had blocked off the area near Grant Court where flood water had gathered. According to officials, the water was 4- to 5- feet deep and was running at 10 to 12 mph. The flood, an overflow from the nearby Swimming River Reservoir was reported to have stretched all the way through Lincroft to the first road in Middletown.
"We’ve been here 25 years and I’ve never seen a flood like this, not even since the hurricane in ’85," said a resident who came with his family to check out the large body of water. "I just feel bad for the people in those houses."
Many families and onlookers walked down the street to see the flood. The residents of the flooded area had been evacuated earlier. One man refused to leave his home, but an TFOEM official persuaded him to come out. The man was staying with his son.
"There was no way we were going to walk away," said TFOEM Coordinator John Mack. “It was a gut instinct about the house [one of the officials] felt that somebody was in there.”
There were no reported deaths or injuries.
For Tinton Falls Fire Company No. 1 on Tinton Avenue, the Swimming River Road flood was the biggest call during the hurricane.
“[It] took about two hours to do search and rescue,” said Assistant Chief Dave Ciani. The department participated in 35 runs since 6 p.m. Saturday, covering fallen trees and wires, he said.

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