OCEAN CITY — Next week marks 80 years since the epic storm of 1933 ravaged Ocean City, and while the deluge nearly erased the fledgling resort town, the cataclysmic changes left in its wake changed the course of history along the sleepy barrier island forever.
Significant storms have hit the resort since, most notably the March storm in 1962, and Hurricane Gloria in 1985, which ripped up much of the Boardwalk and served as the catalyst for the building of the seawall and the birth of beach replenishment. Most recently, Hurricane Sandy, which brushed Ocean City last October, smashing the end of the iconic fishing pier before moving on to devastate New Jersey and New York, will likely be remembered for decades. However, the 1933 storm has marked the test of time.
In August 1933, the storm battered the Boardwalk and beachfront properties with massive waves, severe rain and hurricane force winds. The streets of the town were already flooded from four straight days of torrential rains when the wind began to blow and the seas began to rise on Aug. 22.