When you live on a barrier island, like most readers of The Press of Atlantic City do, flooding can be a big issue.
But a late May storm, coupled with a new moon and an annual spawning season, created an interesting problem in Ocean City.
The problem: A resident of the north end of the island wrote to the Public Eye about coastal flooding during a May 25 rainstorm that pushed water — and some wildlife — into the streets.
The Third Street resident said as water rushed into the streets, so did dozens of horseshoe crabs.
The resident said the issue is the lack of a bulkhead, and he put the task on the city to stop the flooding.
The solution: Ocean City is well aware of problems with bulkheads and bay flooding, so much so that a representative for the city was quick to send me answers about bulkheads and city projects.
Doug Bergen, who works for City Administration and Community Services, said Ocean City is expected go out to bid this summer on an estimated $8.7 million road and drainage project for a 30-block area, including Third Street and Bay Avenue. Partially funded by a FEMA grant, the north end project is just one part of a larger $40 million road and drainage project planned for the next five years.
The next step: Bergen said a bulkhead replacement on Third Street is a part of the project. The consistent flooding of the area may be due to privately owned commercial properties on the block that do not have bulkheads.
Because of a city ordinance protecting existing structures, the properties are in compliance, but Bergen said one property is being redeveloped and will be required to have a bulkhead, which should ease flooding.
The late May flooding was predicted by The Press’ Meteorolgist Dan Skeldon, who also warned of higher tides due to a new moon.
As for the horseshoe crabs, Public Works was seen clearing the streets of the arthropods.
Late May happens to be horseshoe crab mating season, so the population was a little larger in that time of year.