On September 14th, 1944, a major hurricane hit New Jersey, as well as New England and much of the Mid-Atlantic. Since hurricanes were not named in those days, it is just known as the “Great Atlantic Hurricane of ’44."

When it hit the Bahamas, it was a Category 4 hurricane and had weakened by the time it made landfall on Long Island. The hurricane did massive damage to the Jersey Shore, with the Asbury Park Press reporting that phone service was lost up and down the coast. The Ocean County Water Company had to shut off service to Mantoloking after their system was inundated with sea water.

All the towns on Long Beach Island, Barnegat, Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Cape May suffered extensive damage with both LBI and Barnegat losing their causeways due to flooding, effectively cutting them off from the mainland, and Highlands’ main street was under five feet of water. Both the Steel Pier and the Heinz Pier were partially destroyed and boardwalks from Cape May to Sandy Hook were damaged, some extensively. In all, it is estimated that the hurricane caused $100 million (in 1944 dollars) in damage up and down the East Coast.

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