45 Years Ago...The Storm Of
Do you have memories of ’62 storm? We’d love to hear from you and we’ll be happy
to post them on our site. You can contact
us by email.
read our 45th Anniversary recap of the events.
to read additional memories.
How Can We Help?
More than 25 summer residents
gathered for a special luncheon several weeks following the storm at the
Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia. Their goal was to decide how they could
help Borough officials raise the money needed for storm protection. All the
proceeds from the luncheon, which was attended by Mayor John McLaren, along
with proceeds for a dinner planned for July in Avalon – would be turned over to
Borough Commissioners. It’s hard to imagine tax payers today taking up a
collection to strengthen Borough coffers.
A Helping Hand from Bucks County
A convoy of trucks was sent from
Levittown, PA where residents filled the trucks with food and clothing. When
the convey reached
Avalon Blvd. – which was still impassable – Mayor John McLaren met the trucks –
and while visibly moved by the gesture – suggested that most of the goods were
more needed by Sea Isle City which damaged perhaps more than any town in the
county – and where hundreds of residents had lost all of their possessions.
Let’s Set the Record Straight
Although there are many people who
believe that Avalon lost its lowest numbered streets in the storm of 1962 –
that’s just not true. In fact, 5th Street appears to be the lowest numbered
street that was ever graded – but only a small portion. Think about it
reasonably – if there had in fact been 1st through 5th Streets – there would
hardly have been any room for Townsends Inlet. What is a fact is that the Storm
of 1962 destroyed most of the homes along 6th Street. The home of Police Supt.
Lloyd Riggall on the southwest corner of Sixth Street and Dune Drive was the
first structure to fall to
rising tides. Man more would follow.
If Only It Worked That Way Today
In September of 2005 an electrical
transformer failed on Ocean Drive at 30th Street. Parts of Avalon immediately
lost power. Most were restored within several hours. Some sections of town
weren’t as lucky. Dwellings in the vicinity of the Seven Mile Times offices at
33rd and Ocean Drive were without power for more than 18 hours! So how can that
be – in 2005 it takes almost a full day to restore lost service but in 1962,
according to newspaper accounts, Atlantic City Electric, the fore-runner to the
Virginia based company that now provides electrical service to Cape May County,
had power restored almost immediately in what everyone refers to as the worst
storm in County history? According to accounts Atlantic City Electric
implemented a disaster reaction plan early in the morning of March 6 – before
the storm hit. All employees were
expected to report for duty by 6AM. More than 300 workers concentrated on
keeping power flowing to just the barrier islands of the county. In Sea Isle
City, the worst hit – Atlantic City Electric workers hopped rides on Navy
helicopters that were returning after evacuating residents and hospital
patients. They even set-up electric cooking facilities so that emergency
workers could be fed throughout the disaster. Newspaper accounts stated that
amazingly, only brief outages were reported in Avalon and Stone Harbor – and
they were restored within hours. When asked about their incredible level of
service in the worst of times, a company spokesperson said, “It’s service as
usual.” How many times can you remember losing your electric within the last
five years? How times have changed.
Courtesy of Dave Coskey