Flooding From Nor’easter ‘Quite Significant’ on LBI

Beach Haven Beaches ‘Took a Beating’
Jan 25, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck Tuesday summed up what a lot of Island residents were thinking when he said this week’s nor’easter caused the worst flooding on Long Beach Island that he has seen since Superstorm Sandy.

“I would say overall, it might have been the fifth and sixth worst I’d ever seen,” he said. “Some homes had water in their garages. I didn’t know of any who had it in their homes.”

Councilman Joseph Valyo, who is Ship Bottom’s emergency management coordinator, said the flooding was “quite significant.” He said as of early Tuesday afternoon, many areas of town were still flooded out.

“We’re hoping for some relief by mid-afternoon when it is low tide,” he said. “The storm brought very strong offshore winds that raised the water level in the bay. But now the winds have shifted to the west, so we’re hoping that will blow out the tides and it won’t be as bad when the next high tide comes tonight.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, sections of Long Beach Boulevard along the southern half of LBI were still under water, as were areas around Eighth and Ninth streets in Ship Bottom.

There was also beach erosion up and down the Island.

In Beach Haven, “the beaches took a beating,” said Chris Carson, the borough’s new superintendent of public works. The storm wore away a lot of the sand that was pumped in during replenishment this past summer. The worst of the erosion took place between Belvoir and Holyoke avenues and at the south end of town near Leeward and Merivale avenues, according to Carson. Some areas are damaged more than others, with dune drop-offs between 10 to 15 feet, he noted.

The storm also brought in lots of debris, from chunks of dune fencing on the beaches to construction site materials in the roads.

While no cars were seen driving on the streets as Beach Haven flooded during most of the storm, Det. Sgt. Jim Markoski said police did respond to two disabled vehicles near the post office and school, where floodwaters are typically deepest, around 6 p.m. Monday.

By Tuesday afternoon, Bay Avenue was mostly passable, though some spots were still flooded.

“It was a little worse than predicted, but we’re pretty much used to it,” said Carson.

Mid-afternoon Tuesday, Long Beach Township Police Chief Anthony Deely reported “the usual flooding with these events was experienced on the Boulevard,” and noted the secondary roads through part of the municipality – Ocean and Beach avenues – were the clearest routes.

“Ship Bottom concerning the Causeway is the issue: both the east and west are still rough to travel through on,” said Deely. “Low-clearance vehicles are having the most difficulty due to standing water in that immediate area,” but the flooding is receding as time passes.

Township Mayor Joseph Mancini said beach erosion in the township will be evaluated once the storm passes. —K.A.E, E.E. and J.K.-H.



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