On a cold and windy Saturday, a group of about twenty people were busy at work across the street from the remains of Ye Cottage Inn.
The people were young and old, short and tall. Many were from Keyport, but others were from neighboring communities. They were sifting through debris, lugging soggy chairs to the curb and shoveling everything Sandy dragged into pick-up trucks waiting to tow it away.
"With all these people, in a little bit of time it's going to be cleaned up," said Bert Aumack, a Keyport police officer and longtime borough resident who organized the volunteer effort to clean up public areas in Keyport.
On Nov. 24, the group focused their efforts on a patch of land on West Front Street, directly across from Ye Cottage Inn. The weekend before, they tidied up the park along the waterfront.
Word spread by mouth, email and social media. Mary Anne DeVarti, a Keyport resident, showed up with several Boy Scouts from Keyport Troop 364 after forwarding an email to the troop only the night before.
"This is their town and they take pride in it," DeVarti said, adding that the Boy Scouts collectively logged over 1,400 hours at the Central School shelter after the storm.
"They were taught very early that their troop exists to serve," she said.
Aumack plans to continue to clean up Keyport until the borough returns to normal.
"It gives the people who are only coming to take pictures nothing to take pictues of," he said.