Island Flooding North Wildwood Stone Harbor

Rough surf pounds the seawall 4th Avenue in North Wildwood. The dune structure on the North Wildwood Beach from 3rd to 5th Avenues was completely washed away. Extreme high tides are lingering along the Southern New Jersey shore, from Friday's coastal storm, resulting in moderate flooding and some beach erosion on the barrier islands. Monday March 05, 2018. (Dale Gerhard / Press of Atlantic City)

Dale Gerhard / Staff Photographer

South Jersey is gearing up for a second nor’easter in less than a week, but forecasters believe the impact won’t be as fierce as the first one.

Last Friday’s nor’easter was responsible for 5,500 power outages and numerous downed trees across South Jersey. While Wednesday’s nor’easter will not bring the same fury, county officials are monitoring the region for impacts from winds, snow and water.

Ed Conrow, emergency manager for Cumberland County, reported the Delaware Bay is still seeing flooding from high tides.

“High tides breached the dunes at East Point Lighthouse. Crews are putting dunes in place to protect the structure, rebuilding it as much as they can,” Conrow said, referring to last weekend.

Fortunately, widespread coastal flooding is not expected, but localized minor flooding will occur along the shores. Roads that are most susceptible to flooding, such as in Atlantic City and Ventnor Heights, may have to be closed Wednesday.

“Black Horse Pike has the potential to be closed near Atlantic City. We will be monitoring the tide levels and take action if need be,” said Vince Jones, director of emergency management for Atlantic County.

Coastal concerns are high in Cape May County, as with any nor’easter. The peninsula was the hardest hit in terms of wind damage last weekend. Diane Wieland, the public information official for Cape May County, said they are still trying to account for what happened last weekend.

“We have a plan in place in case we see damage on Wednesday. After the storm, we will asses what happened with both storms,” Wieland said.

Wind gusts will be 40 to 50 mph Wednesday. That is not as high as last Friday, where gusts topped out in the 70s locally. However, a similar number of downed trees and power lines could occur. Last weekend compromised many susceptible trees and power lines.

“It won’t take much to take down trees and knock out power,” Jones commented.

Besides the wind and waves, a dense, wet snow will fall Wednesday afternoon west of the Garden State Parkway, as winds turn to the north. Snow will vary from next to nothing in Cape May to potentially 6 inches in Hammonton.

Conrow noted the Department of Public Works crews in Cumberland County are closely watching the rain-to-snow line, since they are the farthest west and closest to the highest amounts.

In Atlantic County, where both the lowest and highest totals are anticipated, Jones had a message for drivers.

“People need to realize that the conditions will be completely opposite between Atlantic City, where it will be mostly rain, and places like Hammonton or Folsom, where it will be mostly snow. Even though you may have four-wheel-drive, the tires are still rubber and you will not grip the snow if you do not slow down,” Jones said.

In places where inches of snow are expected, treating the roads will be difficult.

Road salt or brine will wash away with the rain, allowing snow to accumulate if it is heavy enough.

Jones mentioned rural roads in the western part of Atlantic County could turn into a layer of ice, as temperatures drop below freezing Wednesday night.

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This is my first newspaper but not my first forecast for NJ. I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Rutgers. Two TV internships gave me a taste for the newsroom. Then, after nearly 4 years in private NJ weather, I'm forecasting South Jersey for you.

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