Eyeing possible impacts of Hurricane Franklin along New Jersey beaches
Two powerful hurricanes - Franklin and Idalia - will miss New Jersey, but the swells may impact the beaches with the risk of coastal flooding.
Powerful southeast swells from Hurricane Franklin will combine with Wednesday’s full moon tides and risk street flooding. The more immediate risks at Ortley Beach are dangerous rip currents and beach erosion.
Beach crews prepare for the waves and rising tides by rolling up some of the mats. The narrow stretch of Ortley Beach has been a problem spot for erosion. Mix in some 5-to-7-foot waves from Franklin on high tides, and it turns into a life-threatening situation for swimmers. Swimmers were kept out of the water starting Sunday along Ocean County beaches as the waves from Hurricane Franklin began to be felt along the Jersey Shore. Red flags will fly at the beach Tuesday and likely on Wednesday.
Brian Cerbone, supervisor of Toms River, says the wind and the swell pushes a lot on the Shore.
“You get a big volume of water coming up with the storms and the waves are larger. All it takes is one wave rolls you around a little bit and sucks you out. Next thing you know, you're 150 feet offshore and in a lot of trouble.”
The focus is on Ortley because the beach has cost Toms River nearly $1 million in repairs. Mayor Maurice Hill told News 12 New Jersey that they have been given the OK to move dunes back 60 feet, which will allow more of a beach to exist in front. A federal touch-up project will return in 2024.
The Shore will also see some minor coastal flooding along the back bays during Tuesday and Wednesday night's high tide - residents refer to this as sunny day nuisance floods. Some roads may be closed for a time. This flooding would result from the astronomical tides interacting with the strong swells.
Lifeguards say they hope to have the beaches back open for swimming by Thursday in time for the holiday weekend.