COURT HOUSE — Sandy has visited Cape May County, said Lenora Bonifonte, Cape May County Communications Director. The hurricane passed through the county from 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Oct. 29.
While the hurricane made a quick visit once it made landfall, weather leading up to it brought the county to a standstill. Sustained winds throughout the day were measured at 50 to 55 mph with gusts up to 75 mph. Wave heights reached 15 to 23 feet.
“We experienced heavy rain and winds today with estimates of over 8 inches of rain, a storm surge reported up to 15 feet caused severe flooding on barrier islands,’ said Bonifonte. “Flood waters did not recede. That, combined with a full moon brings concern for high tide tonight approximately at 8:30 p.m. on the ocean, 9:30 p.m. on back bay with record flooding anticipated.”
According to the National Weather Service in Mt. Holly, at 5 p.m. Oct. 29, Sandy was a Category 1 hurricane. It has now transitioned into an extremely intense Nor’easter.
Residents of barrier islands and bay side communities experienced mandatory evacuations as Sandy made its way toward the county. Residents who did not opt to heed the call for evacuation are being asked to shelter in place while first responders and police assess the situation on the islands before going onto the islands to assist those who did not leave.
According to Bonifonte, municipalities on the barrier islands are reporting extreme beach erosion.
Four National Guard trucks were stationed in the county to assist with rescues. Approximately 50 people in Ocean City and Strathmere were rescued, said Bonifonte.
Atlantic City Electric reports 15,540 customers without power.
Five shelters located throughout the county are housing 509 evacuees. Upper Township Middle School in Petersburg is at capacity with 121, Woodbine Developmental Center is at capacity with 259; Upper Township Elementary School in Marmora with 5; Villas Fire Hall (taking Lower Township residents only) 39; and Middle Township Elementary School No. 2 with 85.
The eye of Hurricane Sandy has passed over Cape May County, however its effects will be felt overnight.
Tonight: rain. Low around 49. Very windy, with a south wind 48 to 55 mph, with gusts as high as 80 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
Tuesday: Rain likely, mainly before 10 a.m. cloudy, with a high near 55. Very windy, with a south wind 42 to 47 mph decreasing to 36 to 41 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 75 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Tuesday Nigh:t A chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 45. Breezy, with a south wind 17 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.