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Month: August 2011

The Rise and Fall of Hurricane Irene

Before Hurricane Irene made landfall early Sunday morning, city officials were busy removing the benches from the Promenade and the Washington Street Mall. Merchants hustled to buy the last roll of duct tape and to the lumber yard to buy the last plank of ply board to board-up their storefronts. But first thing Monday morning, everyone was out and about removing all signs of what could have been a major disaster. Cape May was spared and everyone  was breathing a big sigh of relief and anxious to get back to business and welcome visitors back for the Labor Day weekend.

Thank you and Come on Back

Cape May is open and ready for business. We were REALLY lucky folks. Other than a couple of trees coming down, we’ve suffered through much worse Nor’easters. For those of you who were vacationing last week and had to evacuate – thanks for doing so with such grace and come on back. We’d love to see you. It’s lonely here without you.

Mandatory Cape May County Evacuation for Hurricane Irene

We will keep this post updated as more information comes in. Also join us on Facebook at and on Twitter @lovecapemay.

Mandatory County Evacuation

Cape May County has signed an Emergency Proclamation at 2 p.m. today, August 25, 2011. The Proclamation calls for all barrier islands to evacuate today and all of Cape May County to evacuate starting at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Any residents that may need assistance, contact your local Office of Emergency Management or local police.

In the event of an evacuation, follow these signs.

“The Cape May County Bridge Commission will lift the tolls on all Ocean Drive bridges as of 8 a.m. Friday, August 26th. There will be no tolls collected.” – CMC Government via Facebook

The major evacuation routes for Cape May County are:  The Garden State Parkway, U.S. 9, Routes 47,49, 50 and 83.  There are also posted Coastal Evacuation Route signs in our area.

Cape May County Evacuation Routes


8/25/11 @ 4:03 p.m. – Cape May County Emergency Management Director Frank McCall has ordered a MANDATORY EVACUATION of barrier islands effective today (Thursday Aug.25) and all residents from the county Friday at 8 a.m. He encouraged residents to take their pets with them to shelters that will be established at St. Augustine Prep in Atlantic County, Cumberland Community College and Rowan University in Gloucester County. Pets will also be accepted at the County Airport Friday afternoon. [CMC Herald]

8/25/11 – Cape May County will issue a statement at 3:00 p.m. The Cape May County Office of Emergency Management is calling for voluntary evacuation of all of Cape May County starting today (Thursday).

8/25/11 @ 12:55p.m. – Governor Christie has declared a state of emergency for New Jersey. This allows for the state to use resources such as the National Guard. At present, there are no mandatory evacuations. However, the governor has asked visitors not to come to the state this weekend. [ABC Action News]

8/25/11 @ 12:30 p.m. – Avalon has asked residents and visitors to voluntarily evacuate Thursday and Friday. [Press of AC]


FEMA provides information on how to prepare for a hurricane. Visit

Storm effects and path

Hurricane Irene is projected to hit the Cape May area late Saturday night through Sunday morning as a Category 2 hurricane. Wind and rain will be extensive. Power outages and flooding are possible.

Sandy Hook to Cape May, N.J.

The eyewall of Irene will pass close by Sunday morning, with full hurricane effects expected. Weather conditions will deteriorate Saturday into Saturday evening with wind and rain increasing. Periods of heavy rain, damaging hurricane-force winds (80-95 mph) and serious coastal and back bay flooding will occur Saturday night and Sunday. Expect significant beach erosion with a storm surge averaging 2 to 4 feet, but locally it can be higher. Waves will top seawalls late Saturday night into Sunday morning.


Irene’s current status from

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Due to the mandatory evacuation for Cape May County beginning August 25 for barrier islands and August 26th at 8:00 a.m. for the remainder of the county, please assume that everything is cancelled until further notice. Visitors with weekend reservations will not be able to reach the island and are advised to stay home.

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry cancelled ALL departures Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

Morey’s Piers and Beachfront Waterparks will be closed on Friday August 26th, Saturday August 27 and Sunday August 28th due to the impending threat of Hurricane Irene.

Historic Cold Spring Village has cancelled Seafarers’ Weekend event this coming Saturday and Sunday

Cape May Carriage Company has cancelled all carriage rides until the storm passes

The Wild Half Marathon is cancelled in Wildwood

Earthquake felt in Cape May

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Shortly before 2:00 p.m., an earthquake was felt in Cape May. Our entire office building shook, lights swung, and floors vibrated. The shaking lasted approximately 30 seconds. The USGS reports this was a 5.8 magnitude quake, the epicenter of which was located in Virginia.

If you felt the quake, report your experience to the US Geological Survey. And tell us about it below or on Facebook!

Cape May’s Storm Chasers

Portions of this piece first appeared in “Storm Chasing” in the Fall 2010 issue of Cape May Magazine.

For centuries, observers, both the trained and the just plain curious, have tried to delve into the secrets of the storm. But is there any more obsessive storm chaser than the photographer? Well, perhaps it’s the photographer who lives by the sea. We contacted a few of Cape Island’s photographers and asked them to share some of their favorite storm pictures with us.