In March of 1962, Long Beach Island was battered by a Northeaster. The island was cut through in several places. Hundreds of homes and boats were lost.
Below is an aerial view of North Beach Haven taken immediately after the storm. The authorities weren't letting people back on the island and the only way to determine if your home survived was to fly over. Note the boats scattered about and the number of vacant lots. Those lots were vacant and weren't the result of lost homes. The top left is a miniature golf course
North Beach Haven, immediately after the March 1962 Storm
In the scene above, the damage was relatively light. However, other parts of the island got hit much harder. If you look carefully in the lower right quadrant of the photo, you will see a boat that had been adrift in the storm resting against the small shed.
Aftermath of the March 1962 Northeaster on Long Beach Island, NJ
The island was cut through in several places. There was some loss of life but the toll was lighter because the storm occurred off season.
Wrecked house after the March 1962 Storm, Long Beach Island, NJ
In the photo above, you can see several homes that were torn from their foundations.
The U.S. Navy Destroyer, USS Monssen DD-798 broke loose from her tow during the storm and was washed ashore at the southern end of the island. The ship was eventually refloated.
USS Monssen DD798 ashore on Long Beach Island, NJ
The storm showed the value of building homes on pilings. Much of the destruction was caused by homes crashing into their neighbors. The loss of life was relatively light due to the timing of the storm and the population at the time. However, the number of houses on the island has grown exponentially. During the 1976 hurricane which brushed by during the middle of a week, it took several hours to get off the island from Beach Haven. Today, the population is even greater than it was in the 1970's. Many of the people living or vacationing on the island have no idea of the power and danger of a storm. Also consider that we still only have one bridge with which to evacuate the entire island.