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March 2, 2012     Cape Gazette
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March 2, 2012

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3azette STORM OF '62 FRIDAY, MARCH 2- MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2012 59 sary: I962 2012 ~:i:!i! ):17i i PHOTO COURTESY OF HAROLD WHITE Another Rehoboth Beach landmark, Stuart Kingston Galleries, broke upand slid off its foundation in~ the sand. ! 7 i! : '62. DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PHOTOS Debris, including wood from The Boardwalk and bui dings, was piled up following the Storm. }f town Rehoboth and ran nown as Funland. )ry project, Rose and what Changed Ie Dodgem cars:that ppeared, not to be ten the storm hit. eventually settled : is today. Ttily wasin Florida. mid report on the nard members. They L Funland, and I week later. Allen roughout the winter :s receiving a phone destruction. He . etDentino and as- sess the damage ..... "The thing I remember most is that I saw no evidence of the storm any- where coming into town. I didn't see any branches down, wires down or trees down until 50 to 75 feet off the Boardwalk," he said. "Then it was utter destruc- tion." The only portion of Sport Center that remained somewhat intact was the front corner where Dentino started the park in 1939 with a spill-the-milk game. The reason it survived was that Dentino dug the foundation deep enough, At 21, Jay Stein was a young man in his prime. He had already started work- ing in his parent's auction hOuse - Stuart Kingston - on the Boardwalk. He remembers his family had never been away from the store very long be- fore 1962 -: nor any time since 1962. It happened that in March 1962, his father decided to pack up about 95 per- cent of the items in the auction house and ship them to Florida for a sale through another auction house. "This building totally was destroyed. I remember the safe washed up on the beach," Stein said. "We were back open for business in August" Stein said. ,! remember the Boardwalk and much of the other damage was repaired quickly and open again in July. Things seemed to get done faster then," Evelyn Dick Thoroughgood was in her 40s in 1962. She still lives in the same house she lived in then, on Bayard Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. something he was mocked for at the time. "There was no evacuation.then - it was just another storm," Thoroughgood "Mr. Dentino Scooped out the foundation with a mule and a scoop," Fasnacht said. "I remember there were a lot of storms back then." said. - Now in her 90s, Thoroughgood remembers vividly her childhood "In doing that, he got low enough that the erosion [barely af- "There was 1]O in Rehoboth. Even though the, fected it]. Mr. Dentino remembers his Cronies watching him and saying, 'Where are you going, to China?'" storm took out much of the But it wrked t his advantage" The building sank nly a little evacuation then." oardwa ..d shops, her ouse wasn't damage& bit and was more than salvageable. 'qt was just another storm, I She said National Guardsmen The storm not only created destruction that has yet to be seen again in this area, but it also made for a poor summer of'62, were stationed on the street in "We didn't do much business that year because everyone remember there were a 10t of front of her house to discourage thought the place was utter destruction," he sai& "The first sum, storms back then." -Evelyn Dick Thoroughgood, looters. mer was slow, and understandably so." Rehoboth Beach "I remember we had television The Fasnachts have since taken precautions to safeguard Fun' aerials on our roof and they land from any major destruction if such a storm were to hit again, weren't even bent," she said. "The They've installed 20-foot piles under the foundation, which is seven tO eight storm only damag6d the first 50 feet from the Boardwalk." feet below the level of the Boardwalk, .... The largest storm of my lifetime definitely was March of'62," said Connie But even the best precautions are never a guarantee, he said. Catts, wife of Dick Catts, in her oral history at the Rehoboth museum. "When the storm hit in '62, the old-timers making the observations said "When I went down the next day on the Boardwalk, it was devastated. Like killer storms occur about eVery 50 years," he said. the Atlantic Sands, the front of the buildings were gone, some whole buildings "You can imagine last August when Hurricane Irene started churning up the were gone, and it was just a really, really bad storm ... the worstI remember." coast,"