Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Update from Upper Township

Notice: Township Hall is open.
Strathmere and Whale Beach update: There was no structural damage evident in the homes or businesses in Strathmere or Whale Beach. Water, debris and sand is across Commonwealth Avenue in Whale Beach. Ocean Drive is limited to one lane due to the road being undermined near the Corson Inlet Bridge.
Access is permitted, beginning at 1:00 PM on October 31.
Access is available ONLY through Ocean City, and residents MUST show identification with a Strathmere or Whale Beach address.
By executive order of the Governor, Halloween is postponed until Monday, November 5 from 5:00 - 8:00.
Athletic fields will reopen on Thursday November 1.
Brush will begin to be collected on Monday, Nov. 5. Brush must be separated from the loose leaves.
Trash collection will resume on Wednesday
Tuesday collections, only trash will be collected, no recyclables
Wednesday collections will be both trash and recyclables

email from Mayor Palumbo regarding north road into Strathmere

An email from Mayor Palumbo to the Strathmere Improvement Association regarding the road damage just north of the Strathmere bridge -
From: "Palombo, Richard"
Date: October 31, 2012 2:32:32 PM EDT
To: "Strathmere Improvement Association" <>
Subject: RE: SIA Newsletter 10 31 2012 - UPDATE - Strathmere Now Open to Residents With ID via Ocean City
I spoke with the State Troopers that are stationed along the Ocean Drive Causeway coming from Ocean city where there was a breach in the roadway.. They may only allow access into Strathmere from the Ocean City side during daylight hours. We hope that the County will provide a more permanent structure to warn motorists about the road damage.

Mayor Rich Palombo


Here is a photo of the damaged road. Again, this is north of our bridge and before the Rush Chattin fishing bridge on Corson's Inlet.  Please be very careful driving in this area, the road is caving in along one side.


A lot of traffic heading into Ocean City

We just tried to get in to Ocean City at 34th street bridge. Tuckahoe rd into Roosevelt Boulevard and RT9 are back up several miles in each direction, plus more traffic is turning in from the Parkway which is also backed up.

This  plus the apparent added delay of checking IDs is making a very long wait. For each car length that we moved forward, 3-5 more cars jumped into the line ahead of us from the other roads. We sat through several light changes at Roosevelt and RT9 without moving at all.
After an hour we gave up, thinking that we'd have at least another 2 hours to get through. We'll head back early tomorrow morning, hopefully before the rush.

Also, a note from the Strathmere Improvement Association, their email provider only allows them to send two group messages a day. So please check back here,  or check their Facebook page for additional updates -!/pages/Strathmere-Improvement-Association-SIA/184810134906201

Dumpsters to arrive in Strathmere for clean-up of homes

From Riordan Real Estate's Facebook page -!/RiordanRealEstate

The first of 4 dumpsters for Strathmere residents to place their garbage in was just dropped on Vincent between Commonwealth and Bayview. If any residents have items that were destroyed or trash and other debris left in their yards please bring it to this location to dispose of.

Whale Beach still not open, Strathmere access through Ocean City only

This is why you cannot get to Strathmere via Sea Isle City -

A few photos from Riordan Real Estate's Facebook page taken about 1:30 Wednesday -
Follow them here -!/RiordanRealEstate

"This is Commonwealth Avenue around 2400 Commonwealth. Commonwealth is still covered with about 1 foot of water and multiple feet of sand from this point South towards Sea Isle. Public works crews continue the digging."

"This picture is from 1st Street in Sea Isle City looking South. Ocean Drive is impassable."


A short update from the Press of AC -

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 2:15 pm | Updated: 3:06 pm, Wed Oct 31, 2012.
Strathmere residents are now being permitted to return to their homes by entering first entering Ocean City.
Ocean City started allowing homeowners back onto the island at noon Wednesday and police later started letting Strathmere homeowners travel through the island and go south over the Corson's Inlet Bridge to the beachfront portion of Upper Township.
Access to Sea Isle along Ocean Drive from Strathmere is still blocked.
Residents should bring proof of residence or ownership and enter Ocean City on the Route 52 or 34th Street bridges and drive south to Bay Avenue.

Official Updates from Ocean City and Sea Isle City

From Sea Isle City website -

Starting immediately, the City will allow Homeowners, Residents, and Business owners into town so they can inspect, repair, and clean-up their properties. We ask that all owners to inform the police department should they smell gas, see any electrical problems, or any other serious issue that would pose a threat to safety.

Access to the island is for the security of individual properties and businesses only. There is to be absolutely no sightseeing within Sea Isle City as police will be strictly enforcing the law with regards to this point. As of this message, the State of Emergency is still in effect as clean-up, road, and utility repairs are still ongoing throughout the barrier islands.

Thank you in advance to your cooperation and understanding of our position. It is in all our best interests that we follow these procedures and restore the town as quickly and safely as possible.


Please note that I am reading that the Landis/Ocean Drive above 29th street in Sea Isle is still closed for flooding and  clean-up. So you cannot get to Whale Beach or Strathmere from Sea Isle at this time (1PM 10/31) You can only get in from Ocean City by 34th street bridge or 9th street bridge only (Longport bridge is still closed)
Both bridges are currently backed up with traffic from people returning to Ocean City.

Please use caution, the roads are still dangerous. Some are blocked by debris, water and sand. There is damage to the road along the bay between the Rush Chattin fishing bridge at Corson Inlet and our Strathmere bridge.



From the Ocean City website -

IMPORTANT UPDATE Tues Oct 30 11:00am

Date:       October 31, 2012
Ocean City Storm Update: Wednesday, October 31 11:00am
At this time Ocean City is still officially in a State of Emergency
We understand that our residents, property owners and business owners are extremely anxious to check on the conditions of their property and the well-being of family, friends and neighbors.

Therefore, the City has decided to allow limited re-entry into the island at noon for our residents, business owners and property owners. The Route 52 Causeway (9th Street Bridge) and the 34th Street Bridge will be open for the limited access. The Longport Bridge is closed at this time. We ask that you show identification or documentation of property ownership upon entering the City.

We ask that the general public please refrain from travel into Ocean City to allow the City and property owners to continue their cleanup efforts.

Please note that travel on the island is still hazardous. Many roadways are still flooded or covered with hazardous debris. Anyone on the island is advised to be extremely cautious of downed wires. Do NOT touch or go near them.

The City is still without power in numerous areas. Crews are working in town however, the timeframe for restoring power is not known at this time.

Ocean City Schools will remain closed on Thursday.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this trying time as we continue to direct all resources toward creating a safe situation for our citizens to return to.
Halloween Trick-or-Treat for Wednesday has been postponed due to the likelihood that some neighborhoods will still require extensive clean up of debris. The rescheduled date will be announced when available.

Please restrict calls to our Communications Center to be of an emergency nature only.
Information regarding re-entry into Ocean City will be posted here (FaceBook and Twitter as well) as it becomes available.

Power Outages: Atlantic City Electric 1-800-833-7476 or ONLINE
(provides an interactive outage map)

SIA Newsletter 10 31 2012 - UPDATE - Strathmere Now Open to Residents With ID via Ocean City

The following is from the Township Website:

Notice: Township of Upper
Strathmere and Whale Beach update:
Access will be permitted beginning at 1:00 PM
Access is ONLY from Ocean City, and residents MUST show identification with a Strathmere or Whale Beach address
To All Strathmere and Whale Beach Homeowners and Visitors,
It’s beginning to look like they will open access to the barrier islands sometime tomorrow, although certainly nothing is guaranteed. See links below...
If you’ve been watching TV, it’s pretty obvious that Strathmere was really lucky. Apparently the center of the storm came ashore in the vicinity of Atlantic City, meaning we were south of it and did not get the brunt of the onshore winds like places north of the center. Long Beach Island was devastated and locations farther north in New Jersey sustained great damage, as did lower Manhattan. Of course the damage to the Avalon approach to the Townsends Inlet Bridge shows that the storm south of the center was really something also.
Strathmere homes appear to have very little structural damage, although the water was high enough to get into many houses that haven’t been raised, and they may need floor replacements... We also understand that a high percentage of docks along the bay were severely damaged or are gone. The ocean, for the most part, did not come over our dunes in force, so most of the water in town came from the bay, meaning we did not get as much sand in the streets as in many of the bad northeasters in memory.
Whale Beach was a different story, as the ocean did come through there.
As to returning, that appears to be a county decision, as they plan to open access to all the barrier islands in Cape May County at the same time.
Here is the link to the Cape May County Website, which may post reopening news first:
Both communities north and south of Strathmere have postings of interest.
NOTE: Ocean City just announced that as of noon today, they would open access at both 9th and 34th Street for OC residents, business owners and property owners, who must show ID.
Here is Upper Township’s “Sandy” website”: 
After Irene, Route 55 backed up south of Millville because Route 49 was closed going to Tuckahoe due to flooding. We’re not aware of any closures there now, but here is the Cumberland County website location which does have a lot of closures of their county roads (mostly near the Maurice River on the Delaware Bay side):
We won’t put pictures in this edition, because so many folks have posted so many great pictures. We want to especially thank Ted Kingston, Greg Bennett and Brian Riordan for the pictures they posted on Facebook.
Many of those were re-posted on the Strathmere Improvement Association Facebook Page by Linda Bateman (from sunny Fresno, California). We urge you to go to the SIA Facebook webpage and check out the pictures and information there. You may have to sign up to Facebook, but you do not have to post anything – you can just “look!
Once Carol Baker got power back at her home in Ocean View, she also posted many pictures - and also emergency / return info on the Strathmere Blog, here: 
Thanks, Carol, for all that info.
Note that some of our firefighters have been able to return, but that won’t get you back in.
Wait for the “All Clear” for property owners before going back – hopefully on one of the links above.

Thanks very much for your continuing support of the Strathmere Improvement Association!

Linda Bateman     
Elaine Holsomback      
Donna Diefenderfer       
Dorothy Addario                  
Ken Weaver


From Upper Township Strathmere & Whale Beach access

From the Upper Township website -

Notice: Township of Upper
Township Hall is open.
Strathmere and Whale Beach update:
Access will be permitted beginning at 1:00 PM
Access is ONLY from Ocean City, and residents MUST show identification with a Strathmere or Whale Beach address

Aerial video from Chopper 6

Here is a video taken this morning 10/31 by ABC Chopper 6 from Sea Isle City to Strathmere. Strathmere starts at about 13:45 at Taylor Ave and Whale Creek Marina

Some Wednesday morning photos

Here are some photos, taken Wednesday morning by Ed Tettemer -

Looking east on Sumner -

Looking south on Commonwealth in Whale Beach -

We'll be seeing a lot of this around town over the next few weeks.

The next bulk trash day is November 5th, call 628-2011 to get on the pick-up list.

Aerial video of Cape May to Long Beach Island after Hurrican Sandy

This is a 20 minute aerial video taken Tuesday 10/30/12 from Cape May to Long Beach Island. Strathmere starts at about 8:14 and only lasts about 30 seconds, but you can see the houses are still standing, water is out of the streets and our beaches still look fairly good, even the Point. Of course in person the town will look worse, there is a lot of debris and sand clean up to be done.

Current Emergency Information from Cape May County website

Current Emergency Information

October 31. 2012 7:30 a.m.
At this time, there is still no re-entry to Barriers Islands. Please stay posted for re-entry instructions.

RE-Entry Not Yet Permitted on Barrier Islands – State of Emergency Still in Place
The Cape May County Office of Emer­gency Man­age­ment has received many inquiries regarding re-entry into Barrier Island communities. The Cape May County Office of Emer­gency Man­age­ment, Municipal Officials and local police, fire and emergency personnel con­tinue dam­age assess­ment and cleanup oper­a­tions. There is road damage, closed bridges, debris on roads, power out­ages and flooding.

Re-entry into Cape May County Barrier Islands will be announced as soon as pos­si­ble. However, remember Cape May County remains under a State of Emergency and the mandatory evacuation for Barrier Islands remains in effect.


October 31, 2012 - 7 a.m.
The following County Roads remain closed this morning.:

Ocean Drive (CR619) from 4th Avenue to Townsends Inlet Bridge in Avalon is closed indefinitely because the roadway was severely damaged and portions of the roadway have washed away

Ocean Drive (CR619) from 29th Street in Sea Isle City to 56th Street in Ocean City is closed due to sand covering the roadway and damage to the roadway. (this includes Strathmere and Whale Beach)

Portions of Beach Drive (CR604) in Cape May City are closed due to sand covering the road.



Keep updated on roads into Strathmere here -


Update on Hurricane Sandy

I've been without electric for 20 hours here on the mainland in Ocean View. I'm just getting online to catch up. We had a generator so we were able to run the fridge and a small heater for several hours at a time and we could still use our gas stove for cooking. But having no internet is mind numbingly boring! I'm so pathetic, what did I do before the internet?
If you've emailed me the past day, I will reply soon.

Anyway, here is a little info that I heard from Tuesday.

Several people stayed in Strathmere for the storm, mostly our volunteer firemen and their family members. I spoke  to someone who stayed, they drove through town to assess the damage.

All streets had water in them at some point. I posted photos previously taken during low tide. The 8PM high tide was of course much worse. Some streets had just a few inches of water, others had 1 to 3 feet. Most of the water was from the bay and from rain. Some dunes in Whale Beach were breeched, making the road impassable there.
I saw a photo on Twitter of a collapsed wall around a raised septic, but I was told that there was no other major structural damage to homes in Strathmere - none washed away, none collapsed, no blown off roofs. Your house is still standing! Maybe loose siding or shingles, torn screens, deck damage. etc.

There will be a lot of water damage, of course, due to the flooding. If you have a garage or low/ground level living quarters, expect water to have gotten in. There is a lot of debris on yards and streets, many docks were torn up.
The electric never went out in Strathmere during the storm!

About 5PM we received a recorded phone call from the Upper Township mayor. Ocean City and Sea Isle were still closed due to flooding and debris, so no way into Strathmere yet. The work crew was working on digging out Commonwealth in Whale Beach. He also reported that there was no major structural damage to homes, but a lot of clean up work is ahead for homeowners.

Accoridng to Cape May County Emergency page -

Current Emergency Information

October 30, 2012 - 6:45 p.m.

County Roads that remain closed at this time:
Ocean Drive (CR619) from 4th Avenue to Townsends Inlet Bridge in Avalon is closed indefinitely because the roadway was severely damaged and portions of the roadway have washed away
Ocean Drive (CR619) from 29th Street in Sea Isle City to 56th Street in Ocean City is closed due to sand covering the roadway and damage to the roadway.

IT'S ONLY A RUMOR - The Strathmere Bridge did not catch on fire and it did not collapse. The RusshChattin fishing bridge at Corson's Inlet is alright too. It's part of the road in between that has some collapsing and is closed. See the photo below from Riordans.

Ocean Drive coming out of Strathmere heading towards Ocean City. The Northbound lane has collapsed into the Bay and is impassable

Below are some more photos from Riordan Real Estate's Facebook page -

Part of a deck on Sherman -

This is looking at the Corson's Inlet Bridge during the morning high tide yesterday. The evening tide was at least 1.5 feet higher. You can see the public works backhoe parked on the bridge. This was the only place it could be safely stored and it stayed there until the digging began this morning

Debris like this is in many yards -

The firehouse had about 1 foot of water in it during high tide.

Whale Beach is impassable because of sand and debris. This is as far as you can make it in Whale Beach. This is around 1900 Commonwealth. Everything South of this point is not reachable from town.

Bayview, drying out after being flooded for 72 hours - Webster Road to Sherman Road is covered in a layer of mud.

The Deauville -

Nearly every bayfront property had major damage to their docks -

Monday, October 29, 2012

Some more Hurricane Sandy photos

A few more Strathmere photos taken during Monday 10/29 -

First 4 photos from Riordan Real Estate's Facebook page -

A channel marker floats by Riordan's office about 6PM -

1:30PM October 29, 2012 looking North on Commonwealth Avenue

1:30PM October 29, 2012 looking North on Bayview Drive

Commonwealth Avenue Strathmere. 11AM October 29, 2012

Next a few photos from Greg Bennett, Tom Scranton, The Octagon webcam, and Twitter

A screen grab from the Octagon live-cam of Randolph Beach, early Monday morning  -

Water starting to enter the beach path at Randolph, Monday morning  -

The Randolph beach entrance late Monday afternoon -


Hurricane Sandy Photos

The following photos were taken by Greg Bennett around Noon on Monday 10/29.

The corner of Commonwealth and Seacliff -

At the north-end of Commonwealth, looking south -

Looking north on Commonwealth by blinker light -

Near the base of the bridge on Commowealth, looking south - Firehouse to the left -

La Fontana and the Firehouse on Commonwealth -

Uncle Bill's parking lot at the base of the bridge -

View from the bridge -

Commonwealth between Winthrop and Seaclifff -

Corner of Commonwealth and Winthrop -

Looking north on the beach -

Looking north on the beach -

Looking west on Seaview -

On Seaview -

Corner of Neptune and Seacliff -

Looking west on Seacliff from Commonwealth  -

Looking west on Seacliff from Neptune -



The bay in front of the Deauville -


Looking east on Williams -

The end of the alley between Winthrop and Seacliff -

House on East Winthrop -

East Winthrop -

Looking west on Winthrop from Neptune -

West end of Winthrop -

Looking east on Winthrop -

Looking north on Commonwealth near Winthrop -

Commonwealth house -