Life in Cape May: Lockdown for Sandy

Cape May, NJ – In the wee hours of  Monday morning I can hear the wind and rain starting to ramp up. Cape May’s on lockdown mode.  Got the robo call Sunday warning of the mandatory evacuation cut off time: 4PM.  No one comes in or goes off the island now.

At 3PM Sunday, looked like anyone who’s leaving was long gone. No last minute rush to exit at the Cape May bridge.  The bridge was wide open.

We would have left if we lived anywwhere near the ocean.  There are reports Sandy could bring a possible ten foot ocean surge  to the beachfront.

Yet not everyone in town has evacuated.

The emergency management offices of Cape May, West Cape May and Cape May Point  have issued a travel ban  that started Sunday at 4PM. There’s also a 9PM curfew cutoff  for anyone still on the island.  That means you can’t leave your house.

Cape May Police cordoned off the popular Cove Beach late in the day Sunday. They told us they’d be issuing $100 tickets to violators of the bans. It’s an unprecedented move.

At 3:30PM Sunday, Cape May was like a ghost town. No one on the streets.

Except for the workers at Congress Hall.  At 3:30PM, they were busy boarding up hotel windows.

In order to reach each and every one of them, the hotel brought in a cherrypicker.

Meanwhile the local chamber of commerce guy was posting on social media about the arrival of 70 media types who reportedly will be staying at Congress Hall to cover Sandy.  Their arrival seemed, for the moment, to eclipse the coming storm.

Reporters want to go where things are the worst.  Just the nature of the business. Doesn’t sound good for Cape May.

Be safe, wherever you are.

About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak is a journalist, a gardener and a Cape Island resident. She's also Cape May Times' photographer. She founded Cape May Times after a long and lively career in TV news.