Frigid Winds Blast Ocean City and Freeze Pipes, Hydrants

Ice and whitecaps cover on Great Egg Harbor Bay near the Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway near Ocean City.
Ice and whitecaps cover on Great Egg Harbor Bay near the Welcome Center on the Route 52 causeway near Ocean City.
The National Weather Service extended a wind chill advisory for Ocean City to 6 a.m. Wednesday as howling west winds and single-digit temperatures froze the island.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday (Jan. 7), the temperature was 7 degrees in Ocean City, and a 25 mph west wind was gusting up to 40 mph. That created a wind-chill value of -15 degrees.

The temperature reached a low of 5 degrees early on Tuesday morning at Atlantic City International Airport, just one degree above the record of 4 degrees set in 1884. The all-time January low was -10 degrees on Jan. 17, 1977.

Just 24 hours earlier, the temperature had been 56 degrees. But an arctic air mass moved in and sent the air temperature plummeting.

The Ocean City Fire Department has been called to cut the water supply to more than 150 different properties where pipes had burst in the past five days, according to Fire Chief Chris Breunig.

Firefighters responded to a house fire at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday on the 3500 block of Asbury Avenue. They arrived to find a fire in the wall behind a washer and dryer and the residence filled with smoke. But firefighters snapped the stems off two frozen fire hydrants when they tried to attach hoses. They were able to connect to a third hydrant a block away.

A smoke alarm alerted the residents to the fire, and they were able to leave the home safely. But they are temporarily displaced, according to Breunig. 

The wind chill advisory warns of values as low as -15 degrees again on Tuesday night — with a low of 9 degrees and west winds of 25 mph.

Emergency Management Coordinator Frank Donato said that anybody who needs shelter can call the nonemergency police number at 609-399-9111.

Wednesday's forecast now calls for sun with highs in the upper 20s and west winds of 5 to 10 mph. Thursday will be partly sunny with highs in the upper 30s.
Sandy Suhy January 07, 2014 at 06:05 PM
Looks like the fire was on the 3400 ocean side block not the 3500.
Matt Bechta January 14, 2014 at 06:53 AM
I comment the timely and courteous service that fire captain Meyers and others performed last week in shutting off the water supply to homes whose water supply lines froze. The call was above and beyond the call of duty.


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