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Shore Environment

Cyclone Ophelia Pounds Local Beaches: Erosion, Heavy Surf, High Winds (Photos/Video)

The remnants of Tropical Storm Phelia, now consider a subtropical cyclone by the National Weather Service, made their mark on the Jersey Shore Saturday, with heavy surf, high winds and beach erosion.

Waves reached up to the point of the dune line in Ortley Beach around Fifth Avenue, a frequent trouble spot, and in Bay Head the same appeared to be occurring throughout the borough. Likewise, in Normandy Beach, waves inched ever-closer to beach entrances. In Ortley Beach, “Mobi-Mats” between the peak of the dune crossover and beach were rolled up in preparation for the storm – saving the mats, but doing a good job covering them in beach sand as northeast winds placed a small accumulation of sand on local streets.

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)



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Winds blew the sand to the point where it was painful to stand for more than a few minutes, chasing some onlookers in quick fashion. At Manasquan Inlet, the entire parking area was covered in a mix of sand and gravel, most likely from a high tide that carried it onto the roadway.

Bay Flooding did not appear to be severe, however, with all roads passable. A notorious area of flooding – Route 35 South near Ocean Beach – was clear, even close to the high tide cycle on the bay. Still, coastal flood warnings remained in effect from the NWS.

Some news outlets based in social media, without confirmation from authorities, reported the body of a missing boater from Brick Township may have been located off Channel Drive in Point Pleasant Beach late Saturday afternoon. There has been no confirmation of these reports by local, county or state authorities, and Shorebeat did not observe any police activity in the area besides cruisers escorting a Public Works official collecting errant road signs. If and when an official police agency reports an update on the matter, or an official source notifies Shorebeat specifically, the rumors remain unconfirmed.

Photos of the waves and erosion are embedded in this story, as well as video footage from across the area today. Some ad blocking software may interfere with the video player.

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County's northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

Beach erosion and heavy surf as the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia strike Ocean County’s northern barrier island. (Photo: Shorebeat)

A rip current advisory, heavy surf advisory and coastal flood warning were still in effect early Sunday morning through 9 p.m.

For the Coastal Flood Advisory, up to one foot of inundation above ground level in low-lying areas near shorelines and tidal waterways, the NWS said. For the High Surf Advisory, large breaking waves of 5 to 9 feet in the surf zone. For the High Rip Current Risk, dangerous rip currents that could be deadly are highly likely.

“Additional rounds of minor tidal flooding are possible into the new week,” the NWS statement said.

According to the NWS forecast, another inch of rain will fall in intermittent periods Sunday, with an east wind around 20 m.p.h. Showers will continue into Monday, also with winds around 20 m.p.h., and showers will continue through Monday night.


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