Heavy Rains Strike the Area Again

Jul 17, 2019

For the second time in less than a week, a major rain event blasted through Southern Ocean County. Some areas had barely dried out from severe thunderstorms two weekends ago when Mother Nature struck again on Thursday, July 11.

Area rainfall readings were 2 to 4 inches, according to Valerie Meola, meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly. Based on readings from its climate station at the Atlantic City Airport, the rain started around 8:30 p.m. and continued until shortly after midnight.

“There was a lot of tropical moisture with this system, and that resulted in some very heavy rainfall,” she said. “Amounts of precipitation varied among the towns, but everyone got drenching rains from time to time.”

Many roads in Ship Bottom were impassable, said Police Chief Paul Sharkey. He said there were 14 reports of disabled vehicles that unsuccessfully tried to navigate either Eighth Street or Ninth Street, which are the outgoing and incoming Causeway roads, respectively.

“The first call for a disabled car came around 10 p.m., while the last was around 4:30 a.m.,” said Sharkey. “Even though the rain stopped shortly after midnight, it took about five hours for the flood waters to recede.”

Sharkey said the situation could have been worse, since low tide in the Manahawkin Bay was at 2:30 a.m.

“If it was high tide, it would have taken much longer to recede,” he said. “If this had happened in the off-season it wouldn’t have been as bad a problem. But in the summer season, there is so much traffic.”

Tom Medel, Beach Haven Police captain, said most of the Bay Avenue downtown area was under a foot of water, “and that continued halfway up some of the side streets.”

He said there were several reports of disabled vehicles.

“We had to use our Humvees to get around town,” Medel said. “The rain was on and off, but when it rained, it was pouring very hard.” E.E.

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