An eerie stillness sits over the island of Wildwood, which is essentially an abandoned ghost town. We wish we had a hurricane proof armored vehicle that could float… where can we get one of those? No cars coming on or off the Rio Grande Bridge and we haven’t seen any humans from our vantage point. For the first time ever I can actually hear the ocean from my porch which is on the bay-side of the island, 8 blocks from the massive beach which is about a couple blocks long. There’s a jittery squirm in the pit of my stomach, but I love it. Seagulls are flying every which way, all disoreineted. It’s just me and Steve-oh, the last of the mohicans.. It seems as if it’s us and like maybe 20 others left on the island.
Earlier today we searched for gasoline but pretty much every gas station on the Jersey Cape was out. Eventually we found one near Cape May Court House that was open. Waited in a line, filled the tank and the second we screwed the cap back on the gas station attendant announced that there was no more gas. Seems we got the last tank in South Jersey.
The beaches are all closed off with DANGER tape, and the Boardwalk is shutdown but an announcement came over the speakers saying that all businesses on the island are to be closed by midnight tonight, which seems to have already happened hours ago.. All vehicles have to be stopped and you cannot leave the island past 2 pm tomorrow. At 4 pm tomorrow there is a curfew on the entire island and residents must be inside or they will be fined. A car with a loud speaker has been going around announcing a “mandatory evacuation” and to “please leave now.”
By tomorrow the bridges onto Jersey’s barrier islands will be cut off. Right now southbound lanes on the Parkway and Expressway are now Northbound lanes and again, tolls are free. Riding our bikes down to the sea wall at the Hereford Inlet in North Wildwood it was chilling to see the occasional elderly person, sitting alone on a bench watching the ocean as if they were awaiting an inevitable apocalypse. Finishing this post from the North Wildwood Sea Wall, watching giant waves that look like dark blankets rising up and smash the shore. We can smell Irene.. it’s humid and spooky… I have always loved Wildwood-by-the-sea, it’s been a place I have grown up in and hold dear, it’s scary to see the place like this.. all boarded up and bracing for disaster.