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East Coast natives studying in Milwaukee watch Sandy through social media

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MILWAUKEE -- As post-tropical Sandy, once a hurricane made landfall Monday, October 29th, many in the Milwaukee area relied on social media to learn how family members on the east coast were faring the storm. FOX6 News spoke with two students in Milwaukee -- but focused on the east coast.

Like so many others in the Milwaukee area, Marquette University student Dennis Harrington was forced to watch Sandy hit his home town of Long Beach, New Jersey via the television and internet.

"It's been pretty stressful. My mom told me this morning two big oak tress are down across the street, and trees everywhere. It's pretty bad," Harrington said.

Harrington told FOX6 News his extended family stayed with his parents on the island. They still don't have power, but his home made it through the storm. Harrington said he now fears the beaches and boardwalks he's loved his whole life will not be there to greet him the next time he goes home.

Harrington said he has been a lifeguard at the beach for years. He said it's hard to watch everything from home and not be able to do anything to help.

"It's just difficult. I'm going home for Thanksgiving in a couple weeks. At least I'll be home in a couple weeks," Harrington said.

Erin Nordloh is a student at UW-Milwaukee, but grew up in Kenosha. Her sister now lives in Manhattan, and Nordloh told FOX6 News since the storm hit, getting updates from her sister has been touch and go.

"She was in contact most of the time, but there were issues with wireless connections, so there were times we couldn't call her, but she was texting us letting us know she was okay," Nordloh said.

Sandy left behind devastation rarely seen, but Harrington said in these east coast communities, there are people and neighbors with hearts and grit much bigger than any ocean.

"We're from New Jersey. We don't really get kicked down and stay down at all, so we'll be alright, I know it," Harrington said.

CLICK HERE for additional Sandy coverage via FOX6Now.com.