The third high tide of Jonas came and went in Stone Harbor, but shop owners and residents with damage they say rivals Sandy were still mad at Gov. Christie for minimizing the event.
"I was in my waders in three feet of water and my friend is saying Gov. Christie is on TV saying it's not that bad," said Maggie Day, owner of Nesting children's boutique on Third Avenue, whose home and shop sustained damage from flood waters similar to during Sandy. "Oh yeah? Gov. Christie should come down here and get in his fishing waders and live my life."
She said the shop would require gutting as in Sandy. And her house had water damage in the crawl space. She had neither the time nor money to raise after Sandy. "When your house is wrecked and your business is wrecked and your business pays your mortgage, how do you pay your mortgage?"
She stressed she and other locals were nt the million dollar home owners, but people trying to make a living. "We're not those people," she said.
"You don't expect three in five years," she said. "You expect it about every 20 years. We had Irene, Sandy and now this. You're barely back on your feet financially."
Others in town also took umbrage at Christie's comments minimizing their damage. Christie repeatedly made the point that those in Cape May County saying it was worse than Sandy were in places where Sandy damage relatively was minimal. But many in these towns still suffered damage three years ago. Kevin Roberts, a spokesman for Christie, said in an email Sunday afternoon that the governor was paying special attention to areas affected like Cape May County and "acknowledges the most affected areas and the expeditious resonse and resources specifically being directed to them."
"The experts kept telling us that it's not going to be as bad," said Tom Hand of Fred's Tavern, the landmark bar that closed with about a foot and a half of flooding. He said his damage was similar to Sandy, and would requre about a week to reopen. He sustained a couple hundred thousand dollars in damage during Sandy.
In North Wildwood, Mayor Patrick Rosenello said the damage was the worst since the 1962 storm, "absolutely worse than Sandy." Without evacuations, the town's fire department had to use military vehicles to get hundreds of people out of their flooded homes Saturday, he said.
"When water comes in and electric goes out its a whole other matter. That was really the big push yeserday, to get people out of their flooded dark cold home. We moved hundreds of people."
He said he hoped Christie's statements would not translate into any less aid for those with damage to homes and shops. He said beaches and beach protection took a hit, with damage to dunes and sea walls.
Even with Christie back in New Hampshire, and his town's streets still flooded and the power still out, Rosenello said he would not speculate on why Christie seemed to downplay the hit the shore took during the storm.
In Stone Harbor, the flooding from the third high tide of Jonas was beginning to creep back onto roads, and the island was still without power. Pat Langford, 60, wading through water on 99th Street near 3d in high boots, said she was angry that residents weren't ordered to evacuate. She said she was trapped on the island Saturday with no heat and with her 84 year old mother. They eventually got to a relative's house nearby who had a generator, she said.
"The Mayor should have made us evacuate," she said. If I had an emergency, we couldn't have gotten off the island. We evacuated in Sandy. This was worse than Sandy. There's a lot of elderly people here. I made my mother stay in bed with blankets over her."
Others in Stone Harbor escaped to the tony Reeds Hotel, which was offering rooms for $159 and up and taking in elderly people rescued by firefighters. T.F. McCallum, owner of Eco Alley, said his shop was flooded with two or three feet of water on 3d between 95th and 96th and he believes he sustained major damage. "I lost everything," he said.
"The worst part is Fred's is closed," his friend John Wilson, who owns Jack's in Stone Harbor, kidded with him. "Reeds is $15 martinis"
Fred's Tavern sustained major flood damage.
Elsewhere in Cape May County, officals agreed that the flooding was worse than Sandy, when this area was relatively spared. In Sea Isle City, Mayor Len Desiderio said he personally had a foot of water in his house, and others in town experienced similar property damage.
The main drag in Stone Harbor had several feet of icy water after the morning high tide Saturday. Officials were expecting flooding from the third high tide, but not as severe.
Meanwhile, in Margate, there was evidence Sunday morning of beach block flooding on streets with usual poor drainage and the water up to the bulkheads that Margate residents insist are sufficient storm protection. But the flooded icy slushy streets _ which prompted Margate resident Catherine Van Duyne to dub the storm Superstorm Slushy _ would probably bolster Christie's argument for dunes. On Saturday, he erroneously pointed to flooding from the bay when criticizing Margate residents for opposing dunes.
Here's early morning beach block flooding from Iroquois Avenue in Margate.