A storm that arrived Wednesday was nothing like Hurricane Sandy — the wind wasn’t as strong, flooding wasn’t as severe and for the first time this season, there was snow.
“After this week, this is going to be a piece of cake — I hope,” said Michael Rovatsos, 79, of Brigantine. “Whoever thought we’d have snow this early?”
Snow, sleet and wintry conditions drew different reactions from residents, some of whom were still cleaning up from last week’s Sandy and said they had no time to worry about another storm.
Brigantine resident Adam Anthony, 42, used the slush to sweep away the sand and muck that Sandy had left behind in front of his house.
“I’m not worried about it,” Anthony said of Wednesday’s storm. “I don’t care at this point. I don’t need to hear bad news.”
Others said they were resigned to the wintry conditions, such as Bob Lawrence, 54, of Ocean City, who wore a rain suit as he spent most of the day at one of his investment properties, clearing out the muck and ripping out water-logged shingles and wood planks damaged by Sandy.
“It’s a major inconvenience but not tragic,” he said.
Still others — such as surfers — took advantage of head-high waves and swells ideal for surfing, even if it meant surfing in the snow.
“It’s really intense,” said Brent Gambill, 19, a Georgia native who moved to Ocean City to surf and work as a cook. “I’ve never surfed waves like this.”
This latest storm is expected to move north toward Cape Cod by early today, leaving behind mostly cloudy conditions before being replaced by sun, according to the National Weather Service. The temperatures also are expected to warm up into the 50s on Friday and 60s for the weekend, meteorologist Larry Nierenberg said.
“This is a much weaker storm than Sandy,” he said. “The good news for tidal flooding is we are between the new moon and full moon, and so that is when astronomical tides are the lowest.”
Flooding was reported in several flood-prone areas, including parts of Route 40 in Egg Harbor Township and streets near the bay in Brigantine. In Cape May County, southern Ocean City, Sea Isle and Strathmere also had flooding, according to county spokeswoman Lenora Boninfante.
The storm was to have brought in windy conditions, but because it stayed farther east than anticipated, gusts inland were well below the original forecast of up to 60 mph. But because the wind didn’t bring in the warmer air from the ocean, snow formed instead.
“If this had been January, we would have probably have been looking at a major snowstorm,” Nierenberg said.
The threat of a storm surge further devastating shoreline neighborhoods had many communities working to build up their dunes in the aftermath of Sandy.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trucked in 5,000 tons of sand from offshore quarries to shore up dunes in Atlantic City. Hurricane Sandy cut down the sand mounds in the resort to half or one-third their size, said Richard Stockton Coastal Research Center Director Stewart Farrell, who based the estimate on visual surveys.
Exact quantities are being tabulated by the Army Corps, Army Corps spokesman Stephen Rochette said.
“FEMA, working with the state, directed us to do an emergency truckfill to patch several areas in ... Surf City and Harvey Cedars, and Atlantic City,” Rochette said.
Workers started shoring up the dunes in Atlantic City on Monday, although the sand trucks arrived Tuesday night and crews worked through Wednesday even as snow fell.
The city also saw tidal flooding in the afternoon when high tide was about 2 feet more than normal. As a precaution, the police moved their cars to higher ground, Police Chief Ernest Jubilee said.
“We really don’t know what to expect, so we’re on standby,” he said. “If we need to, we will modify work schedules or bring in extra officers. We’ll make that decision at that time.”
Several traffic lights also remained out in the city, such as near the marina, as the flooding from Hurricane Sandy damaged the internal mechanisms of some. Jubilee could not give an exact number, but said the department receives a list of areas each day, and the list is getting smaller.
Some areas have temporary stop signs to help with traffic, while a few have officers at the intersection.
In Margate, City Clerk Tom Hiltner said following the early afternoon high tide that the ocean was up to the bulkheads on the ocean, while at the bay water was coming over the bulkheads leading to “a little bit of water” in the avenues.
“We’re having moderate flooding, and it’s expected to be about the same tonight,” Hiltner said. “We’re fortunate it’s not an overwhelming flooding situation.”
Staff Writers Steve Lemongello and Lynda Cohen contributed to this report.
Contact Hoa Nguyen:
Contact Emily Previti:
Follow Emily Previti on Twitter @emily_previti