Cleanup at the Jersey Shore is in full swing after dangerous winds that topped 70 mph in some spots tore apart historic structures Monday. Yet despite the widespread damage, there were no reported injuries, due in large part to the state's stay-at-home-order amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
The powerful storm shifted homes off of their foundation and peeled the giant metal roof off a new showroom at All Action Watersports in Somers Point, New Jersey, damaged Wildwood’s boardwalk and tore through Cape May’s Congress Hall and historic Elward House.
“There’s still structure that’s precariously hanging over front,” Cape May Fire Chief Alex Coulter said. “Hopefully tomorrow we will get that. Have to get a crane down here.”
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The storms also took down wires and caused thousands of power outages throughout the region.
“We had a lot of power lines down, trees snapped off homes, chimneys snapped off of our Victorians, numerous power outages,” Chief Coulter said.
Despite the damage, tourism officials told NBC10, New Jersey’s stay-at-home order amid the coronavirus pandemic was actually a blessing in disguise when it came to preventing injuries.
“When we look at this as a double whammy, the one thing we’re happy about is the places were not open and people were not in them,” Diane Wieland, of Cape May County Tourism, told NBC10. “We don’t have injuries to people.”
Wieland still said they’re worried about the impact the continued lockdowns will have on Jersey Shore tourism however.
“Is Memorial Day slipping through our fingers? Is the 4th of July going to be the big kickoff? But when we’re ready for it, it will be a big celebration. Everyone will know we’re open for business, Wieland said.
Chief Coulter said anyone with a second home at the Jersey Shore can call the city’s fire or police department to request a property check. Firefighters and officers will put your address into GPS and check on your home for you.
As for the overall cost, officials said it may take days or even weeks to determine the extent of the damage to put a dollar figure on it.