Superstorm Sandy in Cape May Reflections

On the morning of October 29th 2012, Superstorm Sandy was bearing down on Cape May New Jersey. Living in a stress-core concrete building ( a motel) I chose to remain in Cape May. During the morning High Tide I took a walk along the promenade in Cape May near Grant street. I didn’t know at the time I was being shadowed by an Associated Press photographer who had hunkered down at Congress Hall the night before.

While I was shooting this amateur iPhone video, The AP photographer was shooting pictures of me that later landed in a dozen newspapers across the country. What I didnt expect was the video was picked up by local media and the weather channel and on another you-tube channel had almost 150K views.

Later that day, as a result of good hotel hospitality or an active Twitter account, the chief of the Washington office of the BBC contacted me to do Skype interviews about the storm’s imminent impact on Victorian Cape May. The bureau chief earlier in the year had stayed with me while visiting Cape May on family holiday. We both maintained contact via twitter. This was now appearing to be an international news story. The interviews were shown live on BBC television through out the United Kingdom.

Staying to weather the storm was my own decision. Living in a three story concrete building a block from the ocean which later we dubbed the bunker, seemed as safe as any shelter or location in town. Our street never had water during the Storm of ’62. Anywhere we would have evacuated too, lost power for multiple days. Being available as a source of information in a digital age communicating the destination’s survival was also an influential factor.

Don’t ask me if I’d do it again.

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  1. November 7, 2013 / 3:16 pm

    John: Wow- I hadn’t seen your video before this – scary! Walked that section of the promenade yesterday with my mother. Amazing contrast.

    • captcooke
      November 7, 2013 / 3:23 pm

      How about that. I read your comments about the anniversary bringing back sad memories. Here too.