SAYREVILLE, NJ (CBSNewYork) — They aren’t even her photos, but three months after Superstorm Sandy washed out the New Jersey coast, one woman is working to save generations of lost family memories.

“They emptied out the basement, gutted the house, and brought me this picture, and said ‘your mother was a beautiful woman.’ I said, ‘yes she was, but this isn’t my mother’,” Monica Bonkowski told CBS 2’s Emily Smith on Thursday.

The century-old photograph was one of few things that was salvaged from her home on MacArthur Avenue in Sayreville.

There are dozens of photos just like it that Bonkowski said floated in from a neighbor’s home during the storm surge. They may have made their way into the Bonkowski’s home through a hole that Sandy left in the foundation.

“It took the corner out and the side, I’m assuming it came in that way, and the force of that did that,” she said.

Adding a further element of intrigue is the presence of Bonkowski’s mother-in-law in some of the mystery photographs.

“His mother would be almost 100 years old, and in that picture 18 or 20,” she said.

The Bonkowskis said they don’t recognize anybody else in the pictures, but plan to keep them safe, and hopefully turn them over to their owner.

You may share your thoughts in our comments section below…

Watch & Listen LIVE