Tropical weather hits NJ again

August 29, 2009 1:09:59 PM PDT
Dangerous rip currents and large waves kept most people out of the water at beaches along the New Jersey shore on Saturday, the second straight late-summer weekend marred by a tropical storm system.

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However, the latest storm - Danny, which weakened to a tropical depression early Saturday - was proving to be much less troublesome than Hurricane Bill, which spawned dangerous rip currents, large waves and caused some beach erosion - even though it passed hundres of miles offshore.

Waves as high as 6- to 8-feet were reported up and down the coast by late Saturday morning, and forecasters said the waves could go slightly higher as the day progressed. But those conditions were expected to improve during the overnight hours into Sunday, when wave heights were expected to return to normal.

Beachgoers were few and far between in most communities, mostly due to heavy rains that soaked the state in the morning hours and predictions of poor surf conditions due to Danny. More people began arriving in the afternoon, as the rain ended in most areas and the sun began to peek through the overcast skies. But swimmers were being advised to stay out of the water, and very few were willing to venture into the rough seas.

Meanwhile, the heavy morning rains - spawned by a low pressure system not related to Danny - had caused some minor to moderate flooding across the Garden State, mostly along small rivers and creeks and in areas with poor drainage.

No injuries were reported, although authorities in Fair Lawn rescued nine people trapped in five vehicles along a flooded street.

Forecasters said advisories for strong rip currents were expected to remain in effect throughout the weekend, but most flood watches and warnings had expired by early Saturday afternoon as Danny headed toward the New England area.

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