© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

In Storm-Drenched New Jersey, A Fight For Ice


In the aftermath of giant storms and during long power outages, common things can become precious commodities, things like gasoline, fresh milk and ice.

JOE ROMANO: Well, they need it for their perishable foods and also one thing that people don't keep in mind is medicine has to be refrigerated.

SIMON: That's Joe Romano who owns and operates the Sea Isle Ice Company in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. Milk and medicines, like insulins must be kept cool and when electricity is out and refrigerators are dark, people need ice. Joe Romano's ice company is on a barrier island south of Atlantic City.

ROMANO: Our area was hit very hard; high winds, a surge that came in and devastated a lot of the homes along the shore.

SIMON: But the water stopped just short, just inches from flooding his ice factory. And now...

ROMANO: Right now, we're up and running at 100 percent.

SIMON: Which means he and his drivers are out delivering ice.

ROMANO: And as soon as the stores open up, as soon as you bring the ice in there, people are practically fighting to get the ice.

SIMON: Joe Romano's trucks to their best to make their way around roads closed by downed trees, power lines and roads that have effectively become sand dunes. And ice has become so hard to come by in parts of New Jersey that others are finding their way to Joe Romano's shop.

ROMANO: And we've had a lot of tractor trailers coming to our location and bringing it to the northern part of New Jersey.

SIMON: He's sending bags of ice as far away as Long Island. You see, Joe Romano and a fellow distributor in Long Island made a pact just before Superstorm Sandy. If one of them was hit hard, the other would do what they could to help. So, Joe Romano is. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!