Historical society volunteer remembers delivering Red Cross supplies during ’62 storm

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Ronald Griffith, of North Wildwood and a volunteer at the George Boyer Museum, recalls his experiences during the March 1962 storm.  Ronald Griffith, of North Wildwood and a volunteer at the George Boyer Museum, recalls his experiences during the March 1962 storm.

NORTH WILDWOOD — The day before the storm hit, Ronald Griffith said that nothing was out of the ordinary on Five-Mile Island.

“The water was higher than normal on that Tuesday morning high tide,” he recalled.

But that didn’t stop the family from opening their warehouse supply store as they would any day.

That evening at home they received a request from the Red Cross for supplies for the North Wildwood recreation center, which was being set up as a temporary shelter. Griffith and his father made it to the warehouse while the streets were clear of any water, but the water rose so quickly that by the time they completed delivering the supplies, the flood waters made it impossible to park at their house.

Griffith remembers his father parking the car at a grass lot by the house. He said they had to take off their shoes and socks and wade through the water to reach their house.

While his mother was more concerned about them catching cold, his grandmother joked that she missed an opportunity to snap a picture, Griffith said.

That night and into Wednesday, Griffith said the family watched from their home as the flood waters continued to rise.

“There were rollies coming up and even forming white caps from time to time,” he said. “The water covered the patio in the back and front door step and would slap against the door frame.”

Griffith said that the water didn’t get into the house and when the family got up the next morning, they went to Ash Wednesday service.

He said that his father even opened for business as normal.

“When you have to earn a living you do what you have to do,” Griffith said.

The only difference the workday was interrupted by frequent trips for supplies to the Red Cross and the firehouse on 15th street.

 

Lauren Suit can be e-mailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or you can comment on this story online at shorenewstoday.com.

 


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