Jersey Shore feels brunt of storm

A truck drives down a flooded Landis Avenue in Sea Isle City. (Ron Tarver / Staff Photographer)

By midday at the Jersey Shore, the rainstorm had developed into a classic nor'easter - on steroids.

Wind gusts topping 60 m.p.h. in Atlantic City were reported by the National Service as driving rain lashed the coastline from Long Beach Island to Cape May. The sea was so churned by the storm that the waves roared as they rolled onto the beaches, chewing up the strands and dunes in their wake.

The near hurricane force wind gusts were being blamed for collapsing two unoccupied houses in Atlantic City around 12:30 p.m. No injuries were reported. Officials also said the wind was scattering debris from construction sites throughout the city, including at the Revel Casino site, creating driving hazardous in some sections of town.

The 2.5 inches of heavy rains that had fallen overnight and into this afternoon was also creating woes throughout the shore. The rain added more water to brackish wetlands and marshes in the back-bay areas of the barrier islands and along the mainland already swollen by previous storms and snow melt. That meant extensive street flooding - especially during the high tides - near bridges, along causeways and in low lying areas through the shore.

The 9th Street Bridge and Causeway in Ocean City remained closed today, as was a portion of Route 9 near the Absecon Creek in Absecon, just outside Atlantic City. The entire shore is under a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service until 2 p.m. Sunday.

Atlantic City Electric reported scattered power outages throughout the region, as the high winds blew at a continuous 35 to 40 mph most of the day bringing down tree limbs and power lines throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties.