High tide passes with flooding, while nor’easter moves across the region

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Coastal storm brings rain, snow and strong winds

Submitted by Carla Migliaccio / Water fills the street on the 900 block of Palen Avenue in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7. Submitted by Carla Migliaccio / Water fills the street on the 900 block of Palen Avenue in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7.

OCEAN CITY — Once again, the area is at the mercy of Mother Nature. Strong gusty winds, heavy rain and beach erosion are expected as a strong northeast storm impacts the area this evening, Wednesday, Nov. 7. 

The city advised residents, visitors and property owners to closely monitor weather conditions and forecasts for the next 24 to 36 hours.

The coastal storm, which brought snowfall this afternoon, is expected to have a greater impact than usual because of the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy last week. According to the Cape May County Office of Emergency Management, winds are expected to be 25 to 35 mph with gusts of 55 to 65 mph. Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid to low 30s tonight.

Two to four inches of rain are expected through Thursday morning and tides are expected to be 2.5 to four feet above normal.

The tides are the biggest concern, said Frank Donato, the city’s emergency management coordinator. The city fared “pretty good” through a 1:42 p.m. high tide, he said.

“The typical areas filled up,” he said. “We’ve seen the worst of what we’re going to see this afternoon.”

Donato said the storm was “sitting atop” the region as of about 4 p.m.

“We have to see how long it sits, it’s sort of spinning around, if you look on the radar,” he said, the longer it spins, the more rain will fall, resulting in increased flooding. “Hopefully it starts to move.”

Donato said the 2 a.m. high tide, which will hit the bay about an hour later, will be the worst.

“They are predicting that winds would pick up after 3 p.m., so far we have gusts of 20 to 25 mph,” he said. “So far, it’s pretty mild as far as the wind, and we are keeping our fingers crossed for tonight.”

Donato said an offshore breeze, out of the north to northwest, helped minimize tidal flooding and beach erosion this afternoon.

“We’re kind of waiting now, we have a mix of heavy, wet snow with the rain, hopefully it will spare us,” he said. “The wind is gusting from the west, and that helps blow the water out of the bay instead of allowing it to pile up in the inlet. It keeps the water off of us. Hopefully the wind doesn’t shift.

“I went up to the boardwalk to look at the waves,” Donato said. “As the lip comes curling down you could see the wind pushing it back off of us, that’s a real good thing. If we can keep it that way, we might not be too bad off.”

Donato said Merion Park was experiencing flooding, and other areas that normally experiencing tidal flooding were filling up.

Carla Migliaccio reported that the water covered Palen Avenue in front of her home in the 900 block across the street from the bay. Migliaccio rode out Sandy in her attic as about a foot of water filled the first floor of her bungalow. She hopes there is not a repeat in the next 100 years, let alone Wednesday, just over a week after Hurricane Sandy.

“It’s up to the first step,” she said. “The street is flooding, but it’s starting to go back down. We’ll hope for the best for the next high tide.”

Sandy caused an estimated $438 million in damage, with about $31 million of that on the beach.

Donato said residents are advised to move their vehicles to higher ground as flooding can occur before, during and after high tide.

The city has been working very hard to clean up from the last storm while prepare for the current storm, Donato said, utilizing heavy equipment to build large berms of sand along the beachfront. 

Submitted by Diane Reese / Flooding has begun across West Avenue at Sixth Street in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7. Submitted by Diane Reese / Flooding has begun across West Avenue at Sixth Street in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7. Submitted by Carla Migliaccio / Water fills the street on the 900 block of Palen Avenue in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7. Submitted by Carla Migliaccio / Water fills the street on the 900 block of Palen Avenue in Ocean City during a nor’easter Nov. 7.


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