Jonas was a whale of a storm in Cape May. With more than an adequate amount of warning from Gary Szatkowski (National Weather Service) and a ridiculous amount of television hype, Cape May was ready.
I am not going to choose sides in the Cecily Tynan versus Governor Christie argument about the seriousness of winter storm Jonas. Statistically, Jonas matched up to Hurricane Sandy, where Cape May was concerned. With regards to tide levels and wind speeds, the high tide was recorded at 8.98 feet Saturday morning compared to Sandy’s tide of 8.9 feet. Winds were recorded above 60 miles per hour overnight Friday into Saturday.
However, to the best of my knowledge no one in Cape May was evacuated, lost their home or suffered the emotional damage that our neighbors to the north did when the Sandy struck. Thank God!
To protect convention hall and other beach access points vulnerable to tidal surges, Cape May officials in the nick of time constructed sand berms overnight before the storm,
In less than 24 hours the beach went from this:
To this: A man made dune to protect the buildings and hold back the Atlantic Ocean.
Good thing too, as the Atlantic Ocean roared and created some impressive waves.
There was flooding in Cape May’s east end of town. The Global online publication Mashable filed a report from outside Peter Shield’s Inn, where a wedding was to have taken place at the height of Jonas. It made me wonder if the writers were guests of the wedding or just in town to cover the weather event.
Somehow Peter Shields managed to get their staff into work and the wedding took place as planned. For a time at the height of the tide, the only access into or out of Cape May was over the West Cape May bridge. The flood waters closed many roads near the harbor.
Flooding was significant, as reported by New Jersey dot com. Perhaps the phrase for Cape May should be added when saying “the flooding was worse than Sandy.” Certainly at the Lobster House, it was, where an extra day of closure was required to help with the clean up and drying out.
Although Jonas was indeed a whale of a storm in the wind and sea category, it was not the snow event experienced by nearby western neighbors. What snow we did get was cleaned up quickly and most roads passable by midday on Saturday. What we did get was just enough to make Cape May pretty and even more picturesque.