They will gather at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center on 4oth Street to share memories of the Ash Wednesday nor’easter that, on March 7, 1962, leveled huge portions of a resort that was only beginning to recognize its potential.
Marking the occasion wouldn’t seem to make sense — and probably doesn’t — to those who weren’t living here at the time or who are more interested in the here and now of Ocean City, rather than what turned out to be the impetus for the resort’s modern era.
The first thing to note, however, is that it wasn’t just an Ash Wednesday storm. The 1962 “Storm of the Century” was a three-day gale that peaked on that day, forcing high tides of more than 9 feet to inundate the island. The tides and
surf not only swept away the Boardwalk, but also carried off entire houses and, combined with unabating winds of 60 miles per hour, smothered other structures with sand up to their roofs or reduced them to rubble.
The second thing to realize is that, were it not for that unrelenting tempest, much of modern Ocean City might not exist.