Part 2: Recalling Previous Devastation
Regional Affairs Council - July 2011
SEA ISLE CITY, N.J. - Jersey shore residents are preparing for storms of the future, amid memories of storms of the past.
“The wind was ferocious. And it was very scary. It really was very scary,” recalls Angel Dalrymple as she flips through the pages of her scrapbook.
Her photos spark vivid memories of the 1962 nor’easter that destroyed homes and businesses along the Sea Isle City shoreline.
Dalrymple was 16 when that Ash Wednesday storm hit. She recalls watching the fury of the ocean from a seaside movie theatre — the entire screen wall had been blown away.
“I guess now it would be like a 3D movie. We sat in the back rows, my cousins and I, and the front of the movie was all gone. So it looked like a movie screen, but actually it was real life. And the waves were breaking over. All of the pier was gone. And it was dark — not dark like night, but it was stormy.”
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Scientists talk of “hundred-year” storms. For Dalrymple, who still lives in Sea Isle, the 1962 nor’easter was the storm to which all others are compared.
“After you’ve lived through something like that, or experience something like that, you think, well, that was the worst. And I hope it was. I really do,” she says.
She’s thankful for modern building standards (see Part 3). But her memory tells her that Man can only defend so much against Nature.
“People put tape on the windows and boards, and try to prepare as well as they can. But for a storm lilke that, if it’s going to come and take your house, it’s going to come take your house. Your putting tape on the windows isn’t going to help.”
Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060