Tales from Ocean City: Bill Moreland

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The Moreland family drove down from Abington, Pa. to check on their home at 3721 Asbury Ave., a few days after the storm subsided.

They were turned away at the Ninth Street bridge.

“We were told the bridges were closed and we couldn’t get in,” said Bill Moreland, a former teacher and track and cross country coach at Ocean City High School. “We kept our boat at Clayton’s Marina in Marmora, so we figured maybe we could go there and take the boat over. We got there and the marina was a mess. There was sand everywhere. We found the boat, turned over with a telephone pole stuck inside.

“We up-righted it, got the telephone pole out, but the boat had a big hole in it,” he said. “We couldn’t get in to town, so we went home.”

The family returned the next day.

“We got word you could get into town,” he said.

When they got to 34th Street, however, they were asked to park the car and go into a small, make-shift office near Asbury Avenue. Martial law was in effect.

“They asked us for identification and proof of ownership,” he said. “We were allowed to go the house, two at a time, so we took turns. We had to walk; fortunately we were only at 37th Street.”

The house, he said, was in remarkably good condition.

“There was a lot of sand, and we had to come back a couple of times and get it all in the alley. The city took it away. We lost a space heater, but we were very, very lucky. Homes all around us were washed away. Several on our block were OK. We were lucky, absolutely.”

His uncle, who lived at 3621 Asbury Ave., took full advantage of the real estate opportunities the storm provided.

“He bought a couple of lots on Central, two lots next to each other, with Riparian rights,” he said. “He got a good deal and ended up with four lots when they extended Wesley Avenue.

“He was in the right spot at the right time,” he said.


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