Friends from Philly recorded storm’s devastation

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Nick Mauri of Ventnor holds a photo of himself on the beach in Atlantic City after the storm of 1962.
VENTNOR – Nick Mauri was a senior in high school living in Philadelphia at the time of the 1962 storm.

“I remember being in school and my friend saying, ‘I wonder if the house is still there,’ Mauri said Monday, March 5.
Mauri’s family had a summer home on Vendome Avenue in Margate, and his friend Jim Minia’s family had a summer home in Longport.

Together they drove down to the shore to survey the damage, and Mauri took his camera along for the ride.

“Before we came over the Margate Bridge, they had the roads blocked off and they wouldn’t let you in unless you had the deed to your property,” said Mauri, who now lives in Ventnor.

Luckily his friend had brought the deed to his property, and over the bridge they went.

Mauri said that along the beach in Longport, they saw homes that had been decimated by the storm and some that had just been lifted and placed back down in the same place, but askew.

“The wooden bulkheads were all pulled out of the ground. One house, some of the wood went right through his window. Tarpaper under the shingles was torn right off the wood,” Mauri said. “Atlantic Avenue there was unbelievable. You couldn’t drive on it because of the sand.”

They drove past the White House Bar in Margate, where cars had been tossed about and were pointing nose down in the sand.

Making their way north, they saw the Ventnor Municipal Fishing Pier, which was in two pieces after the diving horse tank from Steel Pier had torn through it.

Adjacent to that was the Sands hotel, which was scheduled to open that summer and where Mauri had expected to get a summer job.

He also saw a buoy stuck in the sand north of the pier.

“The boardwalk all along was all busted up, broken up,” said Mauri. “There was a phone booth on the boardwalk and the boardwalk was collapsed, so the phone booth was hanging on its side, just dangling.”

Black and white photos were taken by Nicholas Mauri during his trip to Longport, Margate, Ventnor and Atlantic City following the Storm of 1962.

Nick Mauri stands among debris on the beach in Atlantic City.

The Ventnor Municipal Fishing Pier after the 1962 storm. The Ventnor Municipal Fishing Pier after the 1962 storm.

The Ventnor Municipal Fishing Pier as it stands today.   A buoy makes landfall at the north end of Ventnor. A phone booth hangs on the collapsed Ventnor boardwalk.   People survey the damage at Vermont Avenue in Atlantic City.   A portion of Steel Pier in Atlantic City was taken by the 1962 storm.  

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