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Jersey Shore residents braced for another submerging of their streets and backyards Friday night as high tide arrived with more flooding — the cause being a powerful storm some 100 miles off the coast.
And they can't expect any relief until Saturday morning at the earliest.
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The initial shock of the unusual floods, even for coastal communities now used to the occasional extra-high tide, greeted residents and commuters Friday morning.
The flooding has not been due not to rain, but to high water driven by a storm off the East Coast north of our area. That sub-tropical storm became strong enough to be named Melissa shortly before 11 a.m.
Ocean City and Ventnor opened schools two hours late Friday to let flood waters subside before parents and school buses tried to navigate the roadways.
Wildwood closed a bridge into the city during the morning's high tide, and again Friday evening.
Earlier Friday, Sea Bright's fire department conducted numerous rescues of people who had become stranded in flood waters overnight in the particularly flood-prone community, which is wedged between the ocean and the Shrewsbury River.
Parts of Long Beach Boulevard, the main road through Long Beach Island, also were impassible for much of Friday due to flooding.
The wind-driven water builds up in bays and can't go down before the next high tide.
The flood threat could linger until 1 a.m. Saturday morning.