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In advance of the sixtieth anniversary of the Storm of 1962, the Delaware Public Archives has dug deeply into their vaults and have digitized and curated a treasure trove of previously unreleased photographs from one of the most destructive storms in the First State’s recorded history. The majority of these never before seen images were digitized from historic printed photos and scanned from acetate negatives.

The three-day nor’easter started on Tuesday, March 6, 1962, continued to slowly grind up the Atlantic coast on Wednesday, March 7, 1962, and moved away from Delaware on Thursday, March 8, 1962. By the time that the skies cleared and the winds calmed, the damage along Delaware’s Atlantic and Delaware Bay coasts was substantial with cost estimates of $50 million (roughly $465 million today.) The storm claimed seven lives in Delaware and a total of 40 lives along the East Coast.


About this Photograph Collection

This collection is comprised of more than 500 photographs from:

State Agencies:
The Delaware Public Archives General Photograph Collection
The State Highway Department of Transportation Photograph Collection
The Department of Natural Resources Photograph Collection

Private Photograph Collections:
The Frank B. Calio Collection
The Harold W.T. Purnell Collection


Aerial Footage


A Delaware State Police 17-minute silent film of aerial footage of the damage to Delaware beaches, businesses, and homes.  Areas shown in this newly-encoded film are Bowers Beach, Slaughter Beach, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, the Indian River Inlet, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Oak Orchard, and Massey’s Landing in Millsboro.  This newly encoded copy shows the film in its entirety. You can watch that embedded above or click here.

Other Resources and Selected Papers

Information Resources Manager, Edward McWilliams sat for an extended interview with WDEL’s Chris Carl detailing the materials stored at the Delaware Public Archives. You can listen to that interview by clicking here: Remembering Delaware’s devastating Storm of ’62 or by clicking the play button below.

Mr. McWilliams also welcomed WBOC into the Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Room for an up-close look at some of our primary source documents and photographs related to the Storm of 1962.

You can view that footage by clicking here to go to WBOC’s website.


Selected papers from Governor Elbert Carvel’s papers including correspondence from the public and officials pertaining to the 1962 storm; a speech delivered by Governor Carvel; notes from the Governor’s Secretary; and a telegram from President John F. Kennedy.

You can view and/or download those PDFs below. Click on the speaker icon to listen with DocReader.

Contact us for more information about these and other photographs or documents:
archives@delaware.gov



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