Point Borough Public Works crews have been cleaning out storm drains and basin tops and getting plowing equipment ready as a winter storm is expected to cause at least some coastal flooding between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.
Jude Walker, Borough Road Department Supervisor, said the Borough had already been working, during the past few weeks, on the annual maintenance of storm drains.
"We changed it up this year, because of Sandy, we started in the areas hardest hit by Sandy," Walker said. "We did Lovelandtown, Sunshine Harbor, Bay Head Shores, other hard hit sections. We also had the trucks out the last few days, going over the hardest hit areas again, in anticipation of this, but also to clean up any remnants left behind back in October."
The department also had two crews cleaning basin tops, cleaning out any leaves or other solid debris, Walker said.
With the forecast calling for a wintry mix of snow and rain, the Borough also has plows, salting and sand equipment ready to go, Walker said.
"It's all set up, it takes us about an hour to convert everything to hook up once we have to start plowing," Walker said. "We have salt trucks that can go out immediately."
The department has also made sure its power equipment, barrels and barricades are ready should any roads have to be blocked off due to any live wires or tree limbs that may come down in the 40 to 60 mph winds that are predicted, he said.
At the moment, there is no plan to postpone any trash or recycling collections scheduled for the next few days, but residents are encouraged to stay tuned to updated weather reports and town news to make sure that doesn't change, Walker said.
Residents are asked to put trash and recycling cans away as soon as they can so they're not blowing down the street.
"If anyone misses recycling, the recycling center is open seven days a week," Walker said, reminding the public about the center behind the Stop & Shop plaza on Bridge Avenue.
He said the public works department continues to monitor updated weather forecasts which, at the moment, are calling for winds of 40 to 60 mph, possibly for a prolonged period, in addition to a tidal surge, Walker said.
When asked if the department is asking anything from the public, Walker said, "I would just ask people to listen to weather forecasts and just to use common sense. If you feel may be affected, it may not be bad idea to find another place to stay."
National Weather Service Predicts "Pockets of Major Flooding" Possible
"Pockets of major flooding" and three to five inches of snow on the Jersey Shore may be possible with the incoming storm, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
"Moderate tidal flooding is expected along the Atlantic Coast (both NJ and DE), Delaware Bay, and Raritan Bay, with pockets of major flooding possible, especially along the NJ coast," according to the National Weather Service.
"Minor tidal flooding is expected along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware River. Tides to watch are Wednesday afternoon and late Wednesday night, but some minor tidal flooding is even possible as early as the Wednesday morning high tide.
UPDATE: A Coastal Flood Warning and a High Wind Watch have been issued for Ocean County, according to the Weather Service. The "warning" is a change from the earlier "coastal flood watch" that had been in place.
A "Coastal Flood Warning" is defined by the NWS as:
"A COASTAL FLOOD WARNING INDICATES THAT MODERATE OR MAJOR TIDAL FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.
BE PREPARED FOR RISING WATER LEVELS AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS.
DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE THROUGH FLOOD WATERS. THE WATER MAY BE DEEPER THAN YOU THINK. YOU WILL BE PUTTING YOURSELF IN DANGER AND YOUR VEHICLE MAY BE DAMAGED...LEADING TO COSTLY REPAIRS.
FOR A LIST OF THE IMPACT OF DIFFERENT TIDE HEIGHTS IN YOUR COUNTY...PLEASE GO TO WWW.WEATHER.GOV/PHI/TIDES.HTM (ALL IN LOWER CASE).
Winds could gust to 60 MPH along the Delaware and southern NJ coasts. Gusts in the 35 to 45 mph range are possible further inland, even in eastern PA. High Wind Watches may be needed."
UPDATE: The National Weather Service (NWS) states that the ocean high tide for Seaside Heights is 2:28 p.m. Wednesday, "with a forecast tide level of 6.5 to 7 feet above mean lower low water. High tide will then occur at 3:01 a.m. Thursday, with a forecast tide level of 7.5 feet above mean lower low water." Seas are expected to be 7 to 15 feet.
"The back bays including Barnegat Bay and tidal tributaries will be hard-pressed to drain between the Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning high tides," according to a 3:41 p.m. Tuesday update from the NWS.
The NWS also reminds the public that high tides on the back bays as well as Raritan and Barnegat Bays occur later than the high tide on the oceanfront.
The public should expect road closures during high tides and there may be "some dune breaches and possible property damage to vulnerable structures....if moderate tidal flooding levels are reached. Wave action will cause erosion. Additional minor tidal flooding might occur into Friday."
Please stay tuned to Patch where you can find new stories and updates about the storm, coastal flooding, town advisories and other impacts.