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Rising waters place Ocean County beachfronts at risk

Hurricane Joaquin shows every sign of avoiding New Jersey, but the nor’easter that’s been feeding off the big storm and pelting the coast is creating flood problems throughout Ocean County.

The persistent rain has extended the coastal flood warning until Sunday 6 PM. High tide periods will be especially perilous. High tide returns on the oceanfront at about 3:34 AM and 3:37 PM Saturday, and two to three hours later on the back bays.

On Long Beach Island, Long Beach Boulevard disappeared under a layer of water between Ship Bottom and Beach Haven. It’s closed to traffic at the moment.

In Brick Township, emergency planners closed the beach and coastal areas after the elements stripped the sand away from the township’s newly-built storm wall. A spokesman says that some surrounding fencing that posed a safety hazard was also removed.

Barnegat has had problems with wind and rain from before daybreak, when wires fell onto a stretch of Route 9 and caused a three-hour closure. Police are patrolling the bayfront in high-rolling military surplus vehicles. Bayshore Boulevard has become impassable around the township’s bathing beach. Police opened the East Bay Bridge, prepped for reconstruction, for emergency passage by residents and otherwise are allowing only emergency vehicles to cross.

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