NPR logo
Assessing Damages As Winter Storm Blows Over
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/464180320/464180324" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Assessing Damages As Winter Storm Blows Over

U.S.

Assessing Damages As Winter Storm Blows Over

Assessing Damages As Winter Storm Blows Over
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/464180320/464180324" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cape May, NJ, official Gerald Thornton updates NPR's Rachel Martin on damage to his area from the weekend winter storm.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This weekend's winter storm has moved on, but not before leaving some record flooding along with all that snow. One of the hardest-hit places was Cape May, N.J., where water levels topped those of Superstorm Sandy. Gerald Thornton is an official with Cape May County. He joins me now on the line. Thanks so much for talking with us.

GERALD THORNTON: You're welcome.

MARTIN: What does the morning look like in Cape May today?

THORNTON: Well, fortunately this morning looks a lot better, and last night - the last night's tide also. So although we still are experiencing flooding because we still have, you know, high surges - but not like we had yesterday and Saturday. That was really a major problem. We had some tide gauges that read, like in Stone Harbor, 10.55 feet, which is a record for us. And down in Cape May, we had 9.62 feet in Stone Harbor, so - excuse me, in the harbor area. So - and it was about four or five feet higher than a normal tide, so that has a significant impact on Cape May County.

MARTIN: Do you have any idea at this point the level of damage?

THORNTON: No, and we wouldn't because we do damage assessment after the storm. You know, during the storm and right now, our problem is making sure that everybody's safe and people that we had to shelter overnight, trying to get them back home as soon as the tidal waters go down, and things like that. So - and it takes some time because we have 16 municipalities in Cape May County, and 14 of those municipalities are either on the ocean or the bay. So we have to get together with all the local officials and then get all that - assess all that damage. So it will take some time for us to just go through and assess everything and what we've had. We have had, of course, water damage in a lot of areas. We had wind damage with some roofs blowing off. The airport - we had a roof blow off a building at the airport, things like that. We had - in Sea Isle City, we had a six-alarm fire that went on - was going on all night. In fact, they finally had to knock the building down in order to get the fire out. So -

MARTIN: I know the water levels yesterday exceeded those during Superstorm Sandy in 2012, but how do you compare the two weather events?

THORNTON: Well, it was much different because in Superstorm Sandy, we - our towns in the northern end of the county were impacted significantly, but in the southern part of the county, although we had some impact - but it wasn't as bad. And we didn't get hit like the northern counties did - Atlantic County, Ocean County, Monmouth County. So we were somewhat - I can't say fortunate, because we had damage from Superstorm Sandy, but this time, those levels were higher as far as flooding and - or the tidal gauges that we were watching on the ocean side.

MARTIN: Well, Gerald Thornton of Cape May County, good luck getting all of your residents back home safe, and best wishes as you begin the recovery process there.

THORNTON: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Copyright © 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.