Mailman rescued from Monmouth Beach coastal flooding

Nina Pineda speaks to the mailman.
January 3, 2014 8:31:32 PM PST
Surge from the winter storm caused some significant and dangerous flooding in communities along the Jersey Shore on Friday.

First, a surging high tide trapped a mailman in Monmouth Beach. Rescuers from the Monmouth Beach and Long Branch Fire Departments came to his aid as the Shrewsbury River surrounded his truck at the intersection of North Road and Shrewsbury Drive.

Authorities said 4 feet of water surrounded the truck by the time they arrived on the scene.


"It was so high, I slid, tide took me in," said Joe Sposito, a USPS mailman.

His truck got stuck. It was no match for the tide, which can come knocking right to front doors down the shore.

"It looked like the road kept going," said Kristin Jones, a USPS customer.

Kirstin Jones was holding the letters Joe Sposito had just handed her when she watched him drive onto what appeared to be snow covered pavement.

"We were looking like, no, no, no," Jones said.

"The water was coming up, I said, 'I'm going to drown,'" Sposito said.

With the ice choked river rushing in, the rookie with only seven months on the job acted fast. Not to save himself though, to secure his mail up on shelves.

"Making sure it was dry was the most important thing," Sposito said.

Rescuers were on the scene in minutes witnesses say.

The Long Branch Dive Team and Monmouth Beach firefighters pulled him to safety and did the same for two others motorists trapped on top of their car in the tide.

"Responders did an excellent job helping out today," said Ben Winnie, the postmaster.

Joe didn't call it a day after his rescue. His postmaster bought him dry boots and sweat pants and the young carrier finished his mail route.

"It's the post office. We do what we got to do," Sposito said.

The unofficial motto of the postal service is "Nor snow, rain, nor heat, keep the courier from rounds," maybe add to that "nor icy rising tide".