Coastal storm floods roadways in New Jersey
MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) — The powerful coastal storm moving along the East Coast caused some flooding and road closures Friday in New Jersey, but most roads remained passable.
Flooding that was more of a nuisance during the morning high tide increased in some spots as the day wore on and winds picked up. Winds of 25 to 35 mph were common, and gusts of up to 60 mph were predicted in spots.
Cindy Zipf, executive director of the Clean Ocean Action environmental group, was delayed by 2 ½ hours in reaching her office Friday at Sandy Hook due to flooding.
“The ocean is roiled with huge waves,” she said. “Thankfully the wind is out of the northwest, so the ocean is pushed away from beaches. Erosion will not be as bad as if they were from the northeast.”
But erosion remained a concern in New Jersey, where three major beach replenishment projects are underway, but temporarily halted for the storm. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is pumping sand ashore in Brigantine, just north of Atlantic City; Longport, just south of Atlantic City; and in Mantoloking, the Ocean County community that was among the hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
The Army Corps measured the beaches before the storm and will do so again afterward, to see if any repair work is needed and is feasible. A Corps spokesman cautioned there’s no guarantee that all the sand that washes away from these projects over the next few days will be replaced.
Two local roads in Absecon, near Atlantic City, were closed due to flooding, and there was flooding on Route 40 into and out of the gambling resort, as well as some local street flooding in the city itself.
Brick, Belmar, Neptune and Highlands had water on roadways, as did Route 36, the lone road along the barrier island between Sandy Hook and Long Branch. Flooding also was occurring on roads near the Raritan Bay in Union Beach, another Sandy-damaged town.
In Ocean City, Mayor Jay Gillian warned that a change in wind direction overnight Friday into Saturday could cause additional problems.
“I expect the threat of street flooding to be much greater in the morning and evening tomorrow,” he said Friday afternoon.
Significant snow accumulation is expected at higher elevations in northwest New Jersey and the Poconos.
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