Tales from Ocean City: Jeff Monihan

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The Monihan family – Bob, his wife Joy and their sons Michael and Jeff lived on Arkansas Avenue. Bob Monihan owned Monihan Realty, with an office at 32nd Street and Central Avenue.

“We had some water around the house, the water was coming up from the lagoon, but it was not so bad where we lived,” Jeff said.

“The big story was the south end,” he said. “It was bad along the beach front around Bob’s Grill, too, at 14th Street, but nothing like the south end.”

When the storm ended, Bob Monihan walked the beach from 32nd Street to 59th Street and took pictures.

“We took the pictures and put them on a DVD,” Jeff said. “The whole beachfront was just utter destruction.

“My Aunt Florence’s house was two stories and it had a flat roof,” Jeff said. “The house was in the 3900 block of Central Avenue. There was not a trace left of the first floor, we have no idea what happened to it.

“The second floor was found, fully intact, in the parking lot of the Catholic church at 40th Street!” he said. “There was a 3-foot by 5-foot mirror on the wall behind the sofa in the living room and it was perfectly in place. The furnishings were intact. Somehow the first floor just disappeared underneath it and it floated down the street.

“There was even china in the china closet, and it wasn’t broken, just sitting there as though nothing had happened to it,” he said.

Bob Monihan moved the second floor to 34th Street and the bay, where he had just purchased Blue Water Marina.

“The second floor of Aunt Florence’s house became the store and the office for the marina,” said Jeff. “They opened the marina in 1963.”

Jeff remembers driving through the south end with his mother and grandfather in a brand new Chevy Biscayne.

“We got to 43rd Street and Asbury Avenue,” he said. “The sand was three feet deep, it had all washed through. The ocean surged right across the cross streets.

“We were driving, and the road underneath had washed away, but you couldn’t tell,” he said. “So what appeared to be 6 inches of water was really 6 feet. The car was at a 45 degree angle with water up to the steering wheel. This was my mother’s first new car, and it was destroyed. We had to walk through the water to get to safety.

“It was pretty brutal, the storm wreaked a lot of havoc,” he said. “A lot of Amish carpenters came down and worked for a month for free, helping people get back on their feet. They helped clean debris and salvage whatever could be salvaged.

“It was one powerful northeast storm, just incredible,” he said. “You had an extreme full moon with full tides, low pressure systems colliding. There were 70 mph winds and waves and it lingered for three days.

“The Army Corps of Engineers came in and built bulkheads and trucked in giant bolders to build a rock revetment. The whole south end changed. They brought those rocks in from the Poconos.

 


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