‘We were all caught by surprise’

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WILDWOOD CREST— On the first morning of the storm we attempted to ride from the Crest up Pacific Avenue to Wildwood High School, but Pacific Avenue was flooded. We turned around and the lower end of Pacific Avenue was flooded.

There was water from New Jersey Avenue to the Parkway. On the ocean side the water was rising and heavy surf was breaking at the end of the Crest Fishing Pier. There was rising water in every direction and it was unclear if it would stop rising.

Houses were lifted off of their foundations and were floating in the back waters.

The storm wasn’t predicted, it wasn’t even a hurricane. We were all caught by surprise. In the following days I heard stories of houses floating under the Rio Grande Bridge, large breaking seas at the Five Fathom Bank and catastrophic destruction to Long Beach Island and West Wildwood.

Houses that had floated off of their foundations came to rest in the marsh and I remember seeing a restaurant next to the Admiral in Cape May that was reduced to an empty shell. We developed a new respect for the ocean and a greater caution for all the subsequent storms, but none since have come close to the March Storm of 1962.


Submitted by Robert Bransfield, former Wildwood Crest resident and current resident of Red Bank.





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