Larry Enright

Larry Enright

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Cape May Diamond - the Nor'easter of 1962

2013 Winner Independent Publisher Book Awards (bronze medal) for best eBook fiction. 

One of the tragic bits of historical information in A Cape May Diamond, is reference to a massive storm that devastated the town of Cape May in 1962 (13 years before the story takes place). They called that storm the High-Five. Here is an excerpt from A Cape May Diamond about that storm with photos of the devastation.

"They all remembered it. How could they forget the Ash Wednesday nor'easter of 1962, one of the worst storms of the century? They described it to Tom as the storm where the ocean met the bay. It was that bad." 

Where the Ocean met the bay
"The forecasters hadn’t thought it would amount to much when it first appeared on the radar. They said it would blow through with minimal impact, but they were wrong. An unusual combination of weather patterns coinciding with the Spring equinox caused it to stall in the mid-Atlantic for almost three days where it pounded coastal areas with continuous rain, high winds, and tidal surges, and dumped large quantities of snow inland for several hundred miles. Cape May went through five record high tides during that storm, and so it came to be called the High-Five."

Aerial photo of one of the five record high tides
"The seawall that ran the length of Beach Avenue had been a boardwalk back then, dating back to the late 1800s, but the High-Five lifted it off its moorings like so much kindling and tossed it into the center of town, damaging everything in its path."

The boardwalk

"Beach Avenue collapsed when the storm pulled the sand out from under it, leaving behind craters filled with abandoned cars and chunks of concrete that the angry unrelenting sea picked up and hurled into the buildings along the strip. Very few escaped nature’s fury in that High-Five of 1962 when the ocean met the bay."

Beach Ave
"Many saw the High-Five as the beginning of the end. Some money trickled in afterwards. The roads were repaired with federal disaster relief money. They built the seawall. The salvageable buildings were shored up and the ones destroyed were bulldozed, but the town was never the same after that. The High-Five had washed away the quaintness from Cape May, and people just gave up. Many left for good, boarding up and abandoning their homes. Insurance companies pulled out, leaving the Dew and everyone else along Beach Avenue at the mercy of the sea."

Ocean Avenue

 I invite you to sample the book at Amazon. Here are the links. Thanks!

A Cape May Diamond
Genre: Literary Fiction/Mystery
Published: September, 2012