Monday, October 29, 2012

march 1962: sea isle city, new jersey

Sea Isle City, March 1962
Today's the day when people are nervously waiting for Hurricane Sandy to hit the Mid-Atlantic East Coast -- it's predicted to directly strike New Jersey, my home state.  Already, southern New Jersey resort towns are mostly underwater, even before the storm officially arrives there.

As I hear the forecasts of "Frankenstorm", I am reminded of the "Ash Wednesday" storm of March 1962 (it began on Ash Wednesday), which caused the most damage to the Jersey shore of anything I have ever witnessed anywhere, especially in the little resort town of Sea Isle City.

You see, Sea Isle is the town my folks used to take us for a week every summer, up, that is, until 1961.  It had a small but very kid-friendly boardwalk, the kind of place where my parents could just turn us loose and know that we'd have fun and be safe.  We usually stayed in an apartment over a Boardwalk shop a few feet from the beach.  I will always have good memories of those vacations.

Then the freak storm of Winter 1962 happened and wreaked havoc on the South Jersey shore, especially Sea Isle City, which was mostly washed away.  The boardwalk was totally destroyed (as you can see in the photo above).  Our dad took us down there several days after the storm, and we saw the scant remains of buildings that we once knew well.  The city over the next few years rebuilt as something unrecognizable from what it used to be.

And now Frankenstorm is ready to strike.  We wait and see.

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