It has been 55 years since the famous storm of March 6-7, 1962 devastated Ocean City. Weather forecasting was in its infancy in those days and the storm — a Nor’easter, not a hurricane — took the town by surprise. Flooding from heavy rain and abnormally high tides trapped many citizens in their homes as the ocean and bay met and covered the island. The Ocean City Fire Department made dozens of rescues using both fire engines and boats.
Destruction along the northern stretch of beach was widespread and some houses were washed away with others left in shambles. Hotels and apartment buildings along the destroyed Boardwalk had over five feet of sand in their basement units and the National Guard was mobilized to prevent looting. On a more tragic note, two local men died as a direct result of the storm.
A new Ocean City grew out of this disaster with a new Boardwalk constructed in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Within three years, annexation and development had expanded the city limits all the way to the Delaware line.
Photo by Floyd “Doc” Turner