Wet start to winter leads to minor flooding and power outages

Raven Santana, Correspondent | December 21, 2018 | Weather

The very wet and windy official start of winter left people looking for cover. The storm may have started Thursday night, but it picked up speed into Friday morning.

“A lot of wind, tons of rain, obviously. This morning was worse than it is now because it was driving sideways. A lot of the lawn stuff is now toppled over,” said Middletown resident Mike Sasso.

The weather left a little over 15,000 customers without power, most them being PSE&G. As of 2 p.m., when the rain stopped, that number was down to 3,588.

People in Sea Bright who were expecting coastal flooding say they were pleasantly surprised to wake up and see that it wasn’t that bad.

“Very simple for me, just coming down Ocean Avenue. However, sometimes when I make this drive in the rain, the river overflows and what we get is big, big obstacles on Ocean Avenue. There’s no signs that it’s anything like we normally see. It gets really bad,” said Long Branch resident Perry Feigenbuan.

It was business as usual for Woody’s Ocean Grille waitress Kim Safara who knows firsthand how bad flooding can get in the area.

“Even during high tide it didn’t flood it, which was surprising, so today it actually looked pretty good compared to what it’s been in the past. My backyard actually backs up to a canal and across the canal the backyard floods a lot during high tides, when it’s a big high tide and it’s raining and it didn’t even hit their dock this time,” Safara said.

The rain couldn’t come a better time for new homeowner Rebecca Lucas, who was celebrating with her brother Grant.

“What a great day to do a walk through because we were just checking to make sure it doesn’t flood. It’s not flooding, so we’re very happy,” she said.

“It wasn’t bad. I noticed a lot of standing water in Monmouth Beach, but traffic wasn’t bad,” said Monroe resident Grant Herring.

While the heavy rain seemed more of an inconvenience for drivers, Doug Drummond says he’s happy to see drivers traveling safely.

“I didn’t see any accidents on the highway and stuff like that, so I think we’re all going to be OK, said Drummond.

Sea Bright’s Emergency Management Coordinator Dan Chernavsky released a statement saying, “The borough of Sea Bright experienced minor flooding during the high tide cycle this morning. Downtown side streets were primarily impacted with little to no flooding on Highway 36.”

In the event of road closures, Chernavsky advises people to please follow all signs and do not drive through flooded roadways as it can cause damage to your car, as well put yourself and first responders in harm’s way.