An steady offshore breeze early on Wednesday afternoon appears to have taken the edge off the first hours of a nor'easter that threatens to flood Ocean City and further erode beaches damaged in a major coastal storm last week.
High tide passed at 1:42 p.m. Wednesday on the bay side of Ocean City, and while some low-lying side streets saw their customary flooding, the ocean did not reach the streets at any point on the beach side of the island, and the bay did not top bulkheads on the bay side.
The storm comes a little more than a week after the remnants of Hurricane Sandy made a direct hit on New Jersey, causing record flooding and an estimated $438 million in damage to public and private property in Ocean City.
The National Weather Service has issued high wind and coastal flooding warnings — predicting wind gusts up to 60 mph, heavy rain and moderate flooding peaking on Wednesday afternoon and evening (Nov. 7).
Sustained winds will increase in the afternoon to 36 to 41 mph with gusts as high as 55 mph, according to the forecast.
Wind and rain will peak on Wednesday night with gusts as high as 60 mph. Nor'easters are known for the relentless northeasterly winds that push ocean water toward the barrier islands. But at least early on Wednesday afternoon, the winds appeared to be out of the northwest.
NBC40 meteorologist Dan Skeldon predicts 1 to 2 inches of rain for the coastal area with a "slushy inch or two of snow" possible for inland portions of Atlantic County. Farther west, New Jersey could see as much as 5 inches of wet snow. Temperatures are expected to drop into the 30s on Wednesday night in Ocean City.
The coastal flood warning is in effect from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday for Ocean City. The next high tide at the Ninth Street Bridge in Ocean City will be 2:34 a.m. early Thursday morning. In a morning update, the city urged residents in flood-prone areas to move their vehicles to high ground.
Check the gallery of photos above to see how Ocean City fared during the Wednesday afternoon high tide. All photos were taken within an hour of the high tide.