Delmarva's Great Storm of '33'

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Postby Grover1 » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:19 am

From The Daily Times

Some knew it was coming -- lighthouse keepers and the Coast Guard among them -- but for most people on the Eastern Shore, going about their daily business, the storm descended unannounced.

At the southern tip of the peninsula, where the storm first slammed into the Shore, two men spent that Tuesday night -- improbably -- 180 feet in the air atop the Cape Charles Lighthouse on Smith Island.

The rotating light there, not yet electrified, burned kerosene, and keeper Eldridge Cherrix and Major Richardson worked desperately to keep it functioning during the gathering storm.

Richardson later recalled that the steel structure swayed in the wind so widely that the mercury used to rotate the light kept spilling out of its tank and dripping down the stairs.

Not until sunrise did the two men get their first real look at what the storm was doing.

"It looked like the whole island just sunk, tide was so high," recalled Richardson.

Twenty-foot waves were crashing across the beach and into the woods, snapping trees like matchsticks. At the foot of the tower stood the keeper's house on foundations 3 feet high, and water was sloshing against the underside of its lower floor.

The complete article ...
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dl ... /808210304
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