Tales of the Tides: Skip Broomall

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I was 6 years old with the measles; the curtains were pulled down in those days, so I was unable at first to look out the window. We lived in the Venice Park section of Atlantic City on Madison Avenue, two blocks from the bay. Well, not that day.

I woke up and pulled the blinds up to see the new day. I could not believe my eyes; water covered everything. Water was up to the first or second step of the entrance to our house. This meant the water level was somewhere in the 3- to 4-four foot range in the street.


I could not pull myself away from the front window until I saw the fast-moving branches, logs and yes, what looked to be a small boat rapidly heading toward Morningside Avenue. At that point I thought Mom should have this information. I woke up Mom telling her what I saw. She looked out the window and realized this was not a normal morning in Venice Park. Dad had left very early in the morning to catch the train to work in Camden (General Motors). No cell phones and no communication.

Mom looked into the basement to find more that 7 feet of water. She went next door to the Defeos, and one of the boys told mom we had better get out. I am not sure how it happened, but when the tide subsided Mr. Mitchell from the Atlantic City Press (my aunt worked with Mr. Mitchell) drove his large car and rescued Mom and me. He took us to my grandmother and aunt's apartment at 23 S. Illinois Ave (The Marburg). The next three weeks – no school! Two blocks from the Ocean, and no water in the street on Illinois Avenue. They were on the third floor, so I had a great view of the ocean. I remember the waves looked huge.

Mom and Dad traveled between high tides to see what they would be faced with when the storm concluded. The oil tank was in the basement, and oil and water do not mix; everything was lost. Shortly after that my sister Patty was born and we moved to higher ground in Somers Point, 300 feet from Bay Avenue. The water never crossed Bay Avenue in the time we lived there. We also didn't have a basement.

We survived the ’62 storm without the weather channel, cell phones or the extended forecast.


Skip Broomall

Somers Point


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