The Nor'easter born of Tropical Storm Ida is finally making its way out to sea, with rains expected to end this morning and winds backing off later today.
But flooding will likely remain a concern in coastal communities through high tide Saturday morning.
The storm, which caused widespread problems in Virginia and the Carolinas before hitting the Jersey shore, has left behind it a trail of damaged buildings, eroded beaches and at least six deaths.
James Eberwine, a marine specialist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, told Philly.com that the nor'easter generated the highest wave ever recorded at the buoy 30 miles off Cape May -- 26.7 feet.
It also created six to 10 inches of water in the streets at the south end of Ocean City and forced officials to close St. Louis and Philadelphia avenues south of 12th Street, according to The Baltimore Sun. Baltimore Avenue, normally one-way northbound, was made a two-way street to preserve access to the U.S. 50 bridge.
"We think we got by the worst of what this storm is going to offer us,'' said Frank Donato, Ocean City's emergency management
director. But between high tides very little of the flood waters had been able to dissipate, he said.
"Many of the neighborhoods in town are still completely flooded,'' he said.
No one in New Jersey was ordered to evacuate, and only about 100 people showed up at temporary shelters, said Nick Morici, a
spokesman for the state Office of Emergency Management.
The storm wrecked dunes in several coastal communities including Ocean City, Atlantic City, and on Long Beach Island, where a beach replenishment project is partially finished.
In Manasquan, Joe Duska, a 66-year-old retiree, was photographing 15-foot waves smashing against an inlet rock jetty. Duska said he drove up and down the central New Jersey coastline a few days ago and looked at beaches, knowing a storm was coming, hoping to compare them with what would be left after the storm.
"The beaches are smaller already,'' he said. "You can see it.''
New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection had planned to send crews to assess how much erosion the storm has caused. But they scrapped that plan Friday afternoon because the weather was too bad. They'll go Monday instead.
No decision has yet been made on whether the county would seek a disaster declaration, Philly.com reported.
In Delaware, tides washed out dunes, leaving several feet of water and 3 feet of sand along state Route 1. Transportation
officials say it may take two days to clear the sand.
National Weather Service meteorologist Lee Robertson said the storm was heading out to sea Friday afternoon. After slamming much of the U.S. coastline as it moved from south to north, serious flooding was not a danger north of New Jersey, he said.
Saturday morning's high tide would probably be the last to cause concern, he added.
The storm has been blamed for at least six deaths across three states.
Virginia State Police confirmed a fourth storm-related traffic death in the state Friday when a car ran off a highway and hit a light pole and a tree. In New York City, a 36-year-old surfer died after getting caught in pounding surf churned up by the storm. In North Carolina, an elderly man standing in his yard was killed when a pine tree was snapped off by strong wind and fell on him.
The Coast Guard has also halted the search for three missing New Jersey fishermen whose boat sank in rough seas Wednesday night.