Severe storm damage but swift response at cemetery

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Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum in Cherry Hill sustained quite a bit of damage from severe weather that hit the area on Sept. 28. The fast-moving storm, producing straight-line winds around 70 miles an hour, uprooted three trees completely and split a pear tree at the cemetery.

A severe storm on Sept. 28 uprooted large trees at Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum in Cherry Hill.

Debris and branches were left lying in the roadway. Additionally, the mausoleum roof sustained some damage. The wind ripped off some of the flashing around the skylights. A window was broken when a tree branch hit it, and damage was done to the exhaust fans that sit atop the roof.

Early the next morning, Sept. 29, cemetery staff began assessing the damage. Since the weekend tends to be a busier time with family members and friends visiting, the cemetery fieldworkers were quick to begin cleanup efforts. First on the list was removal of the three very old and large poplar trees that were toppled over.

“We are fortunate no one was hurt, and that the storm hit at night when no one was visiting the cemetery. Trees can be replanted and buildings can be repaired, but loved ones can’t be replaced,” said Marianne Linka, director of cemeteries for the Diocese of Camden.

Cemetery staff will continue overseeing repairs until all damage has been fixed in both the mausoleum and cemetery grounds, she said.

The cemetery and mausoleum are open and visiting hours have not been affected. The cemetery office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the mausoleum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the cemetery is open daily from dawn to dusk. Anyone with questions or concerns may call the Calvary office at 856-663-3345 or 855-MyPrePlan.