Shore Area Spared; Powerful Nor'easter Wallops State
Shore towns experience minor power outages, coastal flooding, but little else
While more than 500,000 people in New Jersey were without power as of 8 p.m., the results of a powerful Nor'easter that blew through the state on Saturday and Sunday morning, residents of Shore area towns were dealing with little more than snow flurries, wind and some coastal flooding.
Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency for the areas hardest hit by the storm, which brought snow that covered the ground in towns from northern Monmouth County into New York and west toward Pennsylvania.
The rain began at 1 a.m. on Saturday and continued on and off into Sunday morning. By 8 p.m., the rain had changed over to snow in Ocean County but was still more rain and sleet in other areas of the Shore.
Storm warnings, including high winds and freezing temperatures, were expected to continue through the night and well into Sunday, according to the 8 p.m. National Weather Service forecast.
"There will likely be icy spots on roads and walkways," the NWS warning said. "The snow may reduce visibility for a time."
Snow and sleet had made a mess of the Garden State Parkway and Route 18 in northern Monmouth County, but the snow line remained mostly north and west of the immediate shoreline as of 6:30 p.m.
At one point more than 5,800 homes were reported to be without power in Toms River, but as of Sunday morning, all but a handful of people had service, according to JCP&L's customer-reported outage map. The outages appeared to be scattered, police said. JCP&L maintains a power outage map here.
Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the department had not received reports of power outages beyond the morning outage related to a utility pole fire, so he had no information on what areas of town were affected.
Berkeley Township Councilwoman Judy Noonan said residents in the Silver Ridge Park North section of Berkeley Township were without power for some time, but that power was expected to be restored shortly.
In Barnegat, police issued an alert through the Nixle system that said Bayshore Drive and East Bay Avenue in the area of the public docks were flooded and nearly impassable.
But other towns reported very little.
In Long Branch, the watch commander said they were had no issues as of 3 p.m. "but we're anticipating some," he said. A tree fell onto a car on Bath Avenue in the city a few hours later, but fallen tree reports were few. The Manchester Township watch commander had nothing to report as well.
As of Sunday morning, many Jersey Shore police departments said their towns were running smoothly and reported just a few minor car accidents that happened during the overnight hours.
"We had some accidents and roads freezing up but nothing major," Toms River Police Sgt. Scott Moeller said Sunday morning.
The story was similar in Monmouth County, where police reported a slight increase in accidents than usual, but no major injuries.
"We had a few accidents, but noothing out of the ordinary -- we definitely lucked out," Howell Poilice Sgt. Tom Weg said. "Whenever you get inclement weather there is an uptick in incidents, but there was nothing excessive."
The coastal flood advisory was lifted at 2 p.m. but the wind advisory remains iis expected to continue into Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service:
- Wind will continue into Sunday, averaging 25 mph, but gusting up to 40. The wind should dissipate sometime after midnight.
- A freeze warning has been issued for Sunday night into Monday, with temperatures expected to fall into the upper 20s and low 30s.