Weekend Nor’easter Pummels Two River Area

November 2, 2018
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Sean Stratton wades through Center Street in Sea Bright during the first high tide Saturday morning. The first nor’easter of the season blew through the Two River area, dumping rain, downing tree branches and bringing storm surges. Photo courtesy Brittany Bernstein

By Chris Rotolo |

Some low lying locations in the Two River area saw some of their worst flooding since Super Storm Sandy and Hurricane Irene during last weekend’s nor’easter, and heavy sea conditions claimed the life of a man off the coast of Sandy Hook.

On Sunday the Coast Guard announced that it had suspended its search for a man who tumbled overboard from a container ship near Sandy Hook Saturday.

A section of Rumson was flooded Saturday morning, like other low-lying areas in the Two River area. Photo by Bart Lentini

Officials said the unidentified 35-year-old man was reportedly not wearing a life vest when he fell into the Ambrose Channel at approximately 8:30 a.m. Coast Guard crews combed the local oceanic waters for more than 24 hours and searched more than 460 square miles before suspending the search, an organized effort that included the deployment of two helicopters, a fixed-wing aircraft and an 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Shrike vessel ported at Sandy Hook.

Watery End For Mercedes-Benz

In neighboring Atlantic Highlands, the borough shut down three main thoroughfares in the municipality’s west side near Many Mind Creek, a natural waterway which is fed by rainwater from the borough and neighboring Middletown Township.

According to Borough Administrator Adam Hubeny, West Highlands Avenue, Center Avenue and Bay Avenue were closed by 9:15 a.m. due to extensive flooding.

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“We estimated that the storm surge was between two and three feet,” Hubeny said, noting that a sailboat in the Atlantic Highlands Marina had come loose from its moorings and bay waters were observed cresting over the marina’s boat ramp.

One unfortunate Mercedes-Benz driver suffered damage to their vehicle after attempting to power through floodwaters on Bay Avenue, according to Hubeny, who said it was the only vehicle that was reported to have suffered damage in town.

‘Could’ve Been Worse’ in Middletown

Middletown Office of Emergency Management director, Charlies Rogers, said the Port Monmouth section of the municipality was most severely impacted by the tidal flooding with 10 roadways near the eastern portions of Main Street and Church Street surrounding Compton Creek under water.

Monmouth Beach neighborhood under water. Photo courtesy Jack Flaherty Photography

Rogers was thankful the rainwaters were less abundant than initially predicted. “The rain was minor and we didn’t get the amount that was talked about. We did get the heavy winds in the 40 to 45 mph range. But we never got the predicted amount of rain. It could have been much worse. Basically, we were darn lucky,” he said.

Rogers said there were four to five streets in Belford and three more roadways near the Leonardo State Marina – Concord Avenue, Burlington Avenue and Beach Avenue – that were closed.

West Park Flooded In Rumson

Wind gusts estimated near 60 mph brought down several trees around Rumson, while low-lying areas near the Shrewsbury River were impacted by severe flooding, according to borough administrator Thomas S. Rogers.

In Rumson, some streets were inundated. Photo by Bart Lentini

Rogers said areas in both the north and south side of the borough received notable flooding, but it was the West Park section of town near the Sea Bright bridge that was hit the hardest.

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“The flooding followed the Stevens Institute prediction for flooding in the area of the Shrewsbury River. This is the system we use to monitor situations like this, and it was right on the money,” said Rogers, who added that floodwaters reached an elevation of feet feet above the national mean high water on the NAVD88 Datum scale.

It’s probably the most severe flooding we’ve had since Sandy,” Rogers said.

This article was first published in the Nov. 1-7, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.

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