Cape Gazette

The Storm of '62 in photos

Mar 02, 2012
Source: Delaware Department of Transportation A large section of the Henlopen Hotel has been washed into the sea. Workers and a crane are in place just a few days after the storm.

Old photographs tell the story of the worst storm in Delaware's recorded history, the Storm of '62. The three-day nor'easter pounded the coast March 6-8 causing what would now be hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and claiming seven lives in Delaware and a total of 40 lives on the East Coast.

Dolle's and the Atlantic Sands Hotel, two Rehoboth Beach landmarks, are in ruins after the Storm of '62. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The dune is gone and sand covers Route 1, known as Route 14 in the 1960s, near Indian River Inlet. As much as 4 feet of sand had to be removed from the road and bulldozed back to the beach. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The Indian River Lifesaving Station along Route 1 near Indian River Inlet is surrounded by sand. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
Bethany Beach looks more like a ghost town in this aerial photograph taken after the Storm of '62. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk took the brunt of the storm as waves and storm surge blasted the area for three straight days. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
Debris, including wood from The Boardwalk and buildings, is piled up following the storm. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
Several inland towns were flooded as the Storm of '62 lingered off the coast for five consecutive high tides. The best way to get around in downtown Milton is by boat. (Photo by: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The view looking north toward the Atlantic Sands Hotel shows the devastation along The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
All that remains of The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach is the pilings. A small southern section remained intact. Remarkably, most of the famed Boardwalk was rebuilt in time for the 1962 summer season. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The Atlantic Ocean and Rehoboth Bay meet as Dewey Beach is flooded during the Storm of '62. (Courtesy of: Norman Rossiter)
Another Rehoboth Beach landmark, Stuart Kingston Galleries, breaks up and slides off its foundation into the sand. (Courtesy of: Harold White)
The large Grier House along the coast in north Rehoboth Beach is one of many that topped over due to foundation failure caused by erosion of sand around the houses. (Courtesy of: Norman Plack)
A Bethany Beach house is broken in half exposing the interior. (Courtesy of: Harold White)
Playland, now called Funland, received extensive damage, but the steel foundation held up. (Courtesy of: Marie Quillen)
Work starts toward restoration amid the ruins of The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. In the distance is Playland (now Funland), one of the few structures left standing. (Courtesy of: Marie Quillen)
Debris from destroyed homes along the coast covers every street in Dewey Beach. (Photo by: Marie Quillen)
Almost half of the Royal Surf Hotel in Dewey Beach has been washed out to sea. (Courtesy of: Marie Quillen)
Families enjoy a summer outing on a beach formed along the shore of Silver Lake between Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. (Courtesy of: Marie Quillen)
Prisoners were used to help clear debris from the sand along the Cape Region coastline. (Courtesy of: Marie Quillen)
The Boardwalk is ripped clean from Delaware Avenue to Wilmington Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. (Source: Collection of R.F. Bayer)
Most of the area on the marsh side of the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in Lewes is flooded. Record-high tides over a three day period forced water to overflow canal banks. At the top left of the photo is the canal bridge. (Source: Delaware Department of Transportation)
Nearly 2,000 houses along the coast from Dewey Beach to Fenwick Island were either damaged or destroyed. (Courtesy of: Don Wiedmann)
Curious onlookers view the damage along the shoreline and The Boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach. (Courtesy of: Don Wiedmann)
Scenes like this off toppled over houses were commonplace following the Storm of '62. Unrelenting high surf caused erosion leading to foundation failure of many houses along the coast. (Courtesy of: Don Wiedmann)
Many Cape Region residents tell their stories of the Storm of '62 in the film, “The '62 Storm – Delaware's Shared Response,” written, edited and produced by Michael Oates. The 55-minute film was funded by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Humanities Forum, and 302 Stories Inc. Copies are available at area libraries. The '62 Storm DVD can be purchased through the on-line Shop Delaware page at (Photo by: Ron MacArthur)
Roads to all Delaware Bay coast towns were cut off early on during the Storm of '62. This photograph was taken March 6 looking toward Slaughter Beach. (Photo by: Delaware Department of Transportation)
The water level continues to rise in Dewey Beach March 7, the second day of the storm. (Photo by: Delaware Department of Transportation)
On one of the first high tides, Cedar Avenue in Lewes is already flooded. Water levels continued to rise for the next two days. (Photo by: Delaware Department of Transportation)
Many said the untold story of the Storm of '62 was the destruction of Delaware Bay coast towns, where seven people were killed. Most coastline cottages, like these in Bower's Beach, were destroyed. (Photo by: Delaware Department of Transportation)
A National Guard tank rolls along flooded Savannah Road toward the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Road in Lewes. High tides in Lewes were nearly 5 feet above street level and remained that way for more than three days. (Source: Delaware Public Archives)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Barry Wayne Price | Mar 03, 2012 11:24

Love the history lesson in pictures. How soon we forget the awesome power of Nature. Keep up the good work Cape Gazette.

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