By Andrew Schmertz
The digital highway sign read “residents only.” Again.
The winter coastal storm brought rain, ice and hurricane force winds of more than 70 miles per hour. The result? Rather predictable. Surging water from the bay flooded coastal communities that have yet to recover from Sandy.
“It’s terrible,” said resident Gloria Danley. “I’m glad to be home since last night. … I stayed overnight. Nobody else in a six-block area. … All by myself and my dog.”
According to the National Weather Service, South Jersey faced record rainfall of 2.6 inches which topped the old record of 2.4 inches in 2009.
It seems every holiday is bringing a new storm. The hurricane, of course, hit on Halloween and, now, Christmas week brought this to Seaside Park.
About a dozen people were helped from their homes by the police here. And residents are asking when anyone will ever address the flooding problem, if that’s even possible.
Another Seaside Park resident Rita Kelly said, “I think it’s sad. This floods normally so they were going to change this highway for us, which would be wonderful for us if they did.”
Bridget Crudo has lived here 40 years. “What are these people going to do?” she asked. “I wouldn’t rebuild. … It gets worse and worse. They haven’t done anything for this bay issue. They just keep on building out. … This bay is so overbuilt. This bay wants its bay back. That’s what these storms are saying.”
The storm has moved up the east coast, but Monmouth and Ocean counties are two areas that remain under a flood watch until tonight. The water may rise another six to 10 feet at high tide, according to the National Weather Service, and another storm could arrive this weekend.