Peering out from Nesting, her storm-flooded children’s boutique on Third Avenue in this tony Shore town, and experiencing a Sandy déjà vu, only colder, Maggie Day had a message for her governor.
“I was in my waders in three feet of water and my friend is saying Gov. Christie is on TV saying it’s not that bad,” said Day, 39, whose home and shop were damaged from winter storm Jonas, which sent icy flood waters coursing down Stone Harbor’s shopping drag during each of three high tides, lifting up and sending heavy flower boxes on a choppy four-block ride past Peace A Pizza.
“Oh yeah?” Day said. “Gov. Christie should come down here and get in his fishing waders and live my life.”
In Cape May County Shore towns – which were relatively, but not entirely, spared during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 – that sentiment was common Sunday. Stone Harbor, Sea Isle, and North Wildwood were hammered as bad or worse than during Sandy, residents, mayors, and merchants said, regardless of what the governor said on national television. Homes and stores were flooded over the weekend with ruinous saltwater. Beach erosion was steep and dramatic. In North Wildwood, dunes were severely clipped and beaches stripped of their sand, revealing outflow pipes.