Tales from Ocean City: Dick Keyser

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Dick Keyser was happy-go-lucky guy in 1962 with a motorcycle, a girlfriend and an apartment at 10th Street and Wesley Avenue.

Like everyone else, the storm took him by surprise.

“It was pretty crazy,” he said. “I worked in Somers Point and I came out to go to work and Ninth Street was flooded. I wasn’t going to get out of town.”

Instead, he headed to his girlfriend’s house at First Street and West Avenue.

“Everything was starting to flood, horns were blowing, cars were shorting out,” he said. “There were a lot of fires. People didn’t have flood insurance, but they had fire insurance, so they set their places on fire, that’s what we heard.

“The south end was terrible,” he said. “There were houses off the foundation, split in half, in the marshes, in pieces. It was like a war zone. Cars were ruined. The water never went out and it just kept coming back in, every time the tide changed the water was higher.

“It was quite an experience,” he said. “The water on First Street was chest high at one point. When I got back to my apartment the water was coming up, but there was still snow next to my motorcycle. It’s nice and high there at 10th Street.”

Keyser said the experience shook him up. He moved to Third Street and Bay Avenue; and after that flooded, he left the island for Somers Point.

“I’ll never forget that storm,” he said.

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