Cape May, NJ - Cove beach looked just as pretty as ever Wednesday. There was just less of it. Hurricane Sandy chomped out yet another piece of the fragile dune that keeps the sea water at bay.
While police barricades restricted traffic to the Cove and other storm affected areas, Cape May and West Cape May allowed residents to come back to their homes for the first time since Sunday.
Many found flooded basements that had to be pumped out.
In low lying areas like the Fow Tract on the west side, some streets were still covered with water.
Overall, Cape May survived Sandy amazingly intact.
Even the Cove Restaurant, perched precariously on the edge of a sand dune, was still standing after Sandy’s brutal winds and waves.
At Summer Station Condotel along Beach Avenue, the biggest problem was the thick layer of sand covering the grass and landscaping.
Cape May’s brand new Convention Hall, built right on the beach, looked no worse for wear after it’s bruising battle with hurricane force winds. However, the huge sand berm, deposited in front of Convention Hall as protection from the waves, was leveled.
Some of that sand may have shifted next door, to McGlade’s beachfront restaurant. The restaurant’s popular beach deck was buried under several feet of sand.
While some areas had too much sand, others had too little. Sandy gouged a deep hole further down the beach, leaving only a thin sliver of sand connecting east and west.
As Cape May residents and business owners started the after storm clean up, there were signs of life Wednesday.
The Mad Batter on Jackson Street was one of the first restaurants to open its doors after Sandy. The restaurant stayed open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, despite the thin crowds.
Around the corner, on the empty Washington Street Mall, Colleen Black and her three children strolled the mall to see if the Fudge Kitchen guy or girl would be handing out free fudge, as per usual.
Not yet. But the store was open.
That in itself was a major triumph, just two days after the storm of the century.