Wednesday afternoon, the skies were darkening over the area as Isaac’s torrential rains circled in from the north, but Long Beach Island was already bracing for Tropical Storm Leslie, which had just been declared a hurricane as it approached Bermuda.
Long Beach Township Police Department issued a rip tide and heavy surf advisory for the area through Sunday due to Leslie.
The advisory posted as, “Potential for Dangerous Rip Currents,” stated “Forecasters are predicting northeast winds and long swells which could create 10- to 12-foot seas offshore for this week. These swells may generate 6- to 8-foot waves, causing beach erosion and dangerous rip currents."
Township Beach Patrol Supervisor Don Myers said the advisory should be taken very seriously. Especially since the beaches throughout the island now only have a limited number of lifeguards still on duty.
In addition, winds and rough surf already coming off Hurricane Leslie are causing extreme high tides. “We are already having accessibility issues for our ATV roving patrols due to the rising water levels,” he said.
Myers said that at high tide on Wednesday that water was already reaching the foot on the new dunes created by the recent Brant Beach restoration project. “That’s only going to get higher as we move later into the weekend,” he added.
The problem is, once Isaac’s rain and thunderstorms move on, as they are predicted to do, the weather will be sunny and hot.
However, with anywhere from 6-10 foot waves and nearly perfect conditions for dangerous rip tides swimmers need to exercise extreme caution or simply stay out of the water if there are no guards present, said Myers.
In addition, the winds that will spinning off of both Isaac and Leslie will produce back bay flooding on the island, Myers predicted.
“The winds are forecasted to remain from the northeast or die down, which means tidal waters will be held in the bays leading to flooding on the Boulevard in the usual areas” said Myers.
Back on the Mainland, Isaac rumbled and rained through Ocean County all afternoon on Wednesday, causing pooling, some street flooding and slow going in Barnegat and Stafford. No road closures were reported at press time.
One Ocean Acres resident, Christina Clark, of Neptune Drive, reported Stafford Public Works crews were out checking along Route 72 East where the storm basin by her home empties out. The area near Neptune and Forecastle Drive have long been an area susceptible to major flooding.
“There is some water in the ravine and a little bit of street pooling, but for now we are OK," said Clark.
Radar showed by 6:00 p.m. the majority of the storm system had passed through and was headed southeast and out to sea.