33 years ago today, Hurricane Gloria impacted the Jersey Shore

Damage to the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey from Hurricane Gloria. (Image: Donna Hink/Public Domain)

Damage to the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey from Hurricane Gloria. (Image: Donna Hink/Public Domain)

Hurricane Gloria, dubbed the “Storm of the Century” as it approached the East Coast, mostly spared the Jersey Shore a widespread severe impact 33 years ago Thursday.

As the storm neared the southeastern United States as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, with projections pointing to the system riding up the Eastern seaboard, the National Hurricane Center sounded the alarms.

The forecasters hoisted hurricane warnings for the southeastern states and hurricane watches north through New England.

New Jersey officials advised nearly 100,000 Jersey Shore residents to evacuate. Numerous Atlantic City casinos closed.

After raking North Carolina’s Outer Banks, with large waves damaging houses and other structure, Gloria tracked just offshore before slamming into Long Island and moving through eastern New England.

In New Jersey, thanks to a last minute turn, the Category 2 Gloria remained 35 to 40 miles offshore but still generated hurricane force gusts, heavy rain, and flooding. The highest winds were registered in Ocean City, reaching 81 mph sustained with a 100 mph gust.

Severe beach erosion occurred, and several boardwalks were damaged, according to the National Weather Service.

Widespread minor and localized major property damage was reported. Tidal flooding also occurred in many shore communities. In Ocean City, a tornado was spotted across Asbury Avenue, causing some property damage.

Gloria’s winds knocked out power to 237,000 utility customers in New Jersey. One person was killed in Long Branch reportedly after touching a downed power line.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.