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Region Gets Ready for Worst of Storm's Fury on Monday

A massive and powerful coastal storm will hit New Jersey with rain, wind and flooding on Oct. 29.

The southern New Jersey shore got a scary sample of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday and will brace for the storm's full fury on Monday.

A massive storm with hurricane-force winds extending for 175 miles in each direction and tropical force winds reaching 520 miles, Sandy brought drenching rain, relentless surf and strong winds to the region as she crossed the Carolinas on Sunday.

On Sunday, the storm had sustained winds of 75 mph (just above the threshold of 74 mph that defines a Category 1 hurricane), but by the time the storm makes landfall sometime on Monday evening, it will no longer be considered a hurricane. Even as it possibly strengthens, the storm will meet a wintertime low-pressure system and take on the characteristics of a classic nor'easter.

The storm is expected to hit the coast somewhere in southern New Jersey — leaving central and northern New Jersey with the greatest potential for high winds and record storm surge.

In southern New Jersey, the greatest potential damage is expected to come with a morning high tide (8:27 a.m. on the bay side of Ocean City) when winds from Sandy will be strongest and in conjunction with an exceptionally high full-moon tide.

The region could see 6 to 10 inches of rain over the course of three days, 40 to 60 mph winds on Monday (with stronger gusts on the coast) and exceptionally high tides driven by the full moon and strong northeast winds.

If the storm hits to the north of Ocean City, the region could potentially see a shift in the winds that would help push water back out to sea for an evening high tide at 8:46 p.m.

On Sunday, even with the storm still hundreds of miles away, pounding surf ate at the region's beaches. Geotubes buried in a recent dune restoration project on the north end of Ocean City were exposed by the storm. Water flowed through the dune cuts at 59th Street, and on the bay side of Ocean City, waves flowed over the bulkheads at street ends.

The storm led to a call for a mandatory evacuation of all barrier islands in New Jersey and to the closing of schools and businesses throughout the region on Monday and Tuesday.

In Ocean City, sirens blared at 2 p.m. and announcements went out across public-address systems and reverse 911 calls calling for all residents to heed orders to leave the island by 4 p.m.

Ocean City transported people from Ocean City High School to shelters at schools in Upper Township and extended hours to 10 p.m. Sunday in an effort to encourage everybody to comply with the evacuation order.

Still, it appeared that many people decided to disregard the order and ride out the storm on the island. Few power outages were reported before midnight on Sunday.

Even with the worst of the storm yet to come, tide-level readings at the Bayside Center in Ocean City (Sixth Street and Bay Avenue) on Sunday evening exceeded those experienced during Hurricane Irene in August 2011. The reading of 5.1 feet was a half-foot greater than Irene's 4.6 feet.

Flood levels are expected to be significantly higher on Monday — the threat that led emergency management officials to issue the mandatory evacuation order.

Monica October 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Anyone riding out the storm near 31st and Simpson? Any updates would so greatly appreciated! Be safe !
Ann Daly October 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM
21st and Simpson.
Matthew October 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Thanks for keep us updated Doug. You do a great job!!
Yolanda October 29, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Central Ave and Tabernacle under water. Water up to doors of cars parked there.
NJ dreamin' October 29, 2012 at 02:34 PM
It's extremely helpful for those of us who live out of state (we're in IL) to see these specific posts. Our OC home is at 16th and Central. Our son just sent us a news item about part of AC boardwalk threatening to collapse.
NJ dreamin' October 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I meant to attach file for the AC news item: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121029_Part_of_famed_A_C__Board walk_on_verge_of_collapse.html
Frank Worrell October 29, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Monday @ 12:30 water is going down slowly . Water is approx. 3 ' high where it has not flooded in years. 34 th street is flooded. Haven around 33/34 has 3 ' above what is usuall in this area .. Life is Good ....
Linda Barnes October 29, 2012 at 07:14 PM
I'm in Burbank Ca. Any updates about 17th and Boardwalk area would be Greatly appreciated.
Debra Berolatti October 29, 2012 at 08:02 PM
I live in Michigan, but my sister and brotherin-law live in Galloway. would appreciate any up-dates.From T.W.Howells resturant.
Debra Berolatti October 29, 2012 at 08:03 PM
any up-dates from Galloway

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