Sea Isle City Recovers After Ophelia Storm Surge


Sea Isle City, N.J.- Traffic has resumed at the intersection of 42nd Street and Central Avenue in Sea Isle City after the area was inundated with knee-deep water on Saturday. By Sunday, the floodwaters had receded, allowing normalcy to return to the coastal town.

Scott Clifford, a local resident, humorously remarked, "I told my kids, I gotta get a kayak or a boat to get out of here," as his house unexpectedly turned into waterfront property. He noted that while flooding is not uncommon, this event was particularly severe. "Usually you get flooding. It will come up to the curb, but yesterday I guess it came up to my second step. So that was the highest, the highest I've seen it since I've been here," he said.

Ophelia, in addition to the flooding, churned up high surfs that pounded the shoreline. The dunes took a substantial beating, significantly reducing the size of the beach. Angelo Camano, a local resident, observed, "This summer, we probably had 200 yards of beach. And now we have 10 yards maybe, and yesterday you can see where it came all the way up to the dunes. So no beach yesterday and maybe five or 10 yards today, so the beach is gone."

One noticeable area of damage was a dune path, which has been cordoned off with yellow tape to prevent accidents.

Joe Sweeney, another resident, expressed his surprise, stating, "They say that the sand gets taken away by the ocean, but it also gets brought back by the ocean. I never seen it get brought back by the ocean."

Further down the Jersey Shore, Wildwood also felt the impact of Ophelia, with a noticeable reduction in beach size. However, beach patrol captain Ed Schneider reassured that there is enough sand to endure the winter season, emphasizing the ample space available for beachgoers in the summer.

In Sea Isle, officials are still evaluating the extent of the damage. A city spokesperson disclosed that the Army Corps of Engineers plans to hire a contractor to replenish the beach with fresh sand, with the expectation that it will return to its normal state by spring.