Wet snow falling over most of New Jersey

March 8, 2013 2:08:30 PM PST
The good news for New Jersey is that a coastal flood advisory has been lifted and high waters were receeding Friday. The bad news is that wet snow is falling across the area.

Water levels that caused flooding on roads in Sea Bright and Absecon continue to drop as the slop from the late-winter storm fell.

Most of the state can expect from 1 to 4 inches before the snow changes to light rain throughout Friday. However, a winter storm warning has been issued for Passaic and western Bergen counties until noon.

Unofficial accumulations show 9 inches on the ground in Wantage in Sussex County, 4 inches in Edison, 3 inches in New Brunswick and a trace in Gloucester County.

Saturday's forecast calls for temperatures in the 50s.

New Jersey Transit will cross-honor bus and rail tickets throughout the day.

The lingering storm brought flood and wind problems Thursday, with hundreds of homes flooded in Atlantic City, breached dunes and flooded streets in Mantoloking and Sea Bright. But the damage did not approach the destruction wrought by Superstorm Sandy in October.

Between 400 and 500 homes in Atlantic City suffered flooding, many of which had still not been repaired since Sandy hit. The storm also wrecked a lifeguard building that had stood on the boardwalk for decades.

Pounding surf broke through a temporary dune in Mantoloking during the early-morning high tide, around 3 a.m.

The breach sent water flowing through onto the highway, forcing officials to close a section of Route 35, from Herbert Street to the Bay Head border for eight hours. It was reopened shortly after 11 a.m. after front-end loaders and street sweepers cleared sand from the roadway.

The state Department of Transportation, Mantoloking's own public works crews and contractors were scooping and pushing sand back into the breach.

"They're trying to keep the dune system intact," Police Chief Mark Wright said. "We need to get this fixed before the next high tide, which is at 3 o'clock."

The waves broke through the dunes between the remnants of two oceanfront houses obliterated by the October storm. But the breach was far less serious than the one that occurred during Sandy, which cut a channel between the ocean on one side and Barnegat Bay on the other, severing Mantoloking in two. That breach was repaired in a massive public works effort, and buttressed by a thick steel wall protecting the Mantoloking Bridge, part of which was wiped out by the October breach.

Every one of the 521 homes in Mantoloking was damaged to some degree by Sandy; scores were destroyed and hundreds of others suffered major damage.