Chilly temperatures, coronavirus dampen spirits along Jersey Shore on Memorial Day

Beaches have been mostly empty due to rain and chilly temperatures, plus the continuing battle against COVID-19.

News 12 Staff

May 25, 2020, 9:56 AM

Updated 1,421 days ago

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Mother Nature and a worldwide pandemic is creating a very different atmosphere at the Jersey Shore this Memorial Day.
Despite the rain and chilly temperatures, and, of course, the continuing battle against COVID-19, people are slowly coming to the beach in Belmar.
Surprisingly, some say the wet weather may be exactly what's needed this year.
"If there's ever a time to have rain, it would probably be this weekend,” said Belmar Business Administrator Ed Kirschenbaum. “We’ve got to put a little time and distance between the executive orders and COVID-19, so we're able to run through our plan, and people have been very respectful and understanding."
Around this time last year, Belmar was packed with crowds.
With a comprehensive social distancing plan just beginning to be tested, including zoned beaches to promote social distancing, maybe a slow start is for the best.
"There's going to be a visual all-day long, hour by hour. We have a drone that we’ve put up in the air and we use the crow’s nest at the 10th Avenue Public Safety Building," Kirschenbaum said.
The wet weather and restrictions in the wake of the pandemic are also impacting business this Memorial Day weekend.
"This has been a really bad weekend. Obviously, the weather has really been a factor. The virus has certainly impacted us. We didn't have any of the beach traffic, we didn't have any taverns open to draw the people. We didn't have the families,” said Tom Roger of Mamalukes Pizza Grill and Ice Cream.
Roger added that Mamalukes is open but not expecting much in the way of profits.
"You know at the end of the day, I love to use rubber bands for deposits. All week, I used paper clips,” Roger added.
Even the traffic to and from holiday destinations was different this year. News 12's Marci Rubin usually reports on the side of the highway to wrap up Memorial Day weekend, and the scene this year was not what she is used to seeing.
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