LONG BEACH ISLAND – High tide brought with it some unexpected flooding last weekend, causing major issues on local roadways near the shore.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, Long Beach Township Police released a Nixle alert notifying residents of anticipated coastal flooding from Thursday evening through Friday evening for most tidal areas of Delaware and New Jersey.
“This event affects 5 consecutive high tide cycles dating back to Wednesday [Oct. 9] evening. Water will not be allowed to drain from many of the back bays and estuaries. As a result, the cumulative impacts may be significant,” read the alert from Long Beach Township.
Police warned residents of strong gale force winds, reaching 35 to 40 knots, and wind gusts up to 30-40 mph.
“The prolonged nature of this event will result in significant beach erosion,” said police.
Local island police were on patrol and local fire departments were on standby as floodwaters creeped up on Thursday and Friday making Long Beach Boulevard nearly unnavigable.
Harvey Cedars Police Department posted various photos of the flooding, advising residents against driving through the flood waters, stating “flood waters may be deeper than they appear.”
While part of the mainland experienced some rain throughout the previous week, the extent of the flooding to hit Long Beach Island was a bit unexpected as photos made the rounds on social media, showing almost Sandy-like proportions of water.
As floodwaters rose, even reaching streets on the bayside of the island, local events suffered the consequences. The first day of the annual LBI Kite Festival, Oct. 11, was canceled due to the un-drivable conditions. On Oct. 12, Long Bach Township Police Department’s Shellabration event was also canceled. Service on the LBI Shuttle was suspended on the evening of Oct. 11.
Ship Bottom Police took to social media to provide consistent updates on the flooding, even coining the unanticipated event “#Floodageddon2019.”
Ship Bottom Police advised motorists of the “impassible” conditions on Long Beach Blvd., adding “Remember to crawl through all flooded areas to save your vehicle and your neighbors’ property. PLEASE DONT MAKE A WAKE.”
According to the National Weather Service, a flood warning was issued for the area in effect until 1 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12.
This is certainly not the first – or the last – time that Long Beach Island experienced heavy flooding. The island is quite easily susceptible to high levels of rainfall and poor weather conditions.
Ship Bottom Administrator Mark Pino previously told Jersey Shore Online that the 28th Street area in Ship Bottom is probably the lowest part of the island and always experiences major flooding.
Despite the consistent flooding issues, Pino noted that there isn’t too much the township has done or can do to fix it. The major thoroughfare on LBI is Long Beach Boulevard, a county road. Any work done in that area falls under the jurisdiction of Ocean County’s Engineering Department.
But the main issue remains: There is nowhere for the water to go, according to Pino.
“It’s almost impossible to stop the flooding,” Joseph Valyo, Ship Bottom Emergency Management Coordinator, previously told Jersey Shore Online.
Most of the work done by the township is meant to inform residents and minimize water rise to the best of their ability.