Makeshift Morgue in Seaside Heights? Toms River Police Chief Addresses Sandy Internet Rumors
Seaside Heights–In the days after Superstorm Sandy made landfall, much of the communication between local residents was being conducted on cell phones and facebook, which led to the perpetuation of rumors. One of the rumors that emerged was that the A&P shopping center in Seaside Heights was being used as a makeshift morgue.
While it seems an absurd prospect, it was quickly dispelled by Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy earlier this week. “We kept getting reports of bodies being held in the A&P and all sorts of rumors,” he said. ”Sometimes something takes a life of its own and we have to call it. There’s no bodies, there’s no missing people.”
The building was boarded up in advance of the storm as it is before every major weather event.
Another rumor that persisted early on was about bodies being found in the Holiday on the Bay Complex in Silverton. A fire official reported that the complex was blocked off to access, not because of bodies, but because it suffered severe damage during Sandy and was deemed a significant hazard.
Reports of Toms River Police walking the streets of Toms River carrying assault rifles however were true. A police officer at a checkpoint told Toms River Magazine that the weapons were displayed only as a show of force to deter criminals from entering secured zones.