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Coastal Flooding Expected This Week [AUDIO]

A mix of rain and snow should be accompanied by a moderate dose of coastal flooding Wednesday into Thursday, as shore towns continue to rebuild their beaches after Superstorm Sandy.

“The winds will get strong,” explained Mitchell Gaines, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.

He said road closures can be expected during the times of high tide, and some damage to vulnerable structures may occur.

Vulnerability has become a characteristic of much of the Jersey shore due to Sandy. The storm removed many of the safeguards that were once in place to protect homes and businesses from the ocean.

John Miller, professor of coastal engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, said the longevity of the pending storm is a main concern.

“It’s supposed to last over several tide cycles,” he explained. “It’s just going to chew at the beach. What little beach is left, it’s going to erode even further.”

  • CLICK HERE for Stevens Institute’s Storm Surge Warning System

Residents are being advised by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management to monitor forecasts and pay attention to their local officials, should there be a need to evacuate.

In Avalon, officials are keeping their eyes on Thursday morning’s high tide, which arrives just before 4 a.m. on the bay side.

“What we’re looking for in this storm is minor to moderate street flooding,” said Scott Wahl, Public Information Officer for Avalon and Stone Harbor. “We’re letting the public know to move their vehicles if they live in a flood-prone area.”

Avalon and Stone Harbor fared very well during Sandy; just one home suffered more than 50 percent damage. Wahl said the damage was minimal because of the towns’ engineered beaches and dunes.

“We don’t look at them as expenses,” he said. “They are purely investments to protect the economy and the livelihoods of everyone.”

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