Awaiting the effects of Hurricane Bill

MARGATE, NEW JERSEY - August 20, 2009

"Oh my god, I'm excited, I've been waiting for this all summer," said Joe Hutchinson of Margate.

Jersey shore surfers are practically drooling in anticipation of this weekend when Hurricane Bill is expected to blast some big waves into our coast.

"It's New Jersey and really don't get good waves here so when it comes everyone really gets excited, it is going to be awesome," said Ryan Celenza of Longport.

"It is unusual surf for this area," said Andrew Lee of Linwood. "You don't get ten-, fifteen-, twenty-foot waves on a regular basis, so it's going to be interesting."

The surf should get progressively bigger and rougher over the next couple of days. And by Sunday morning, wave heights could reach 15 feet or more.

"To us this is epic proportions," said Lou Solomon of Margate. "All my buddies are calling, everyone is going crazy. Their hearts are pumping. They are rearranging their schedules."

The big surf is topic number one at Heritage Surf and Sport shop in Margate, where they are getting lots of calls and surfboard sales are up the last few days.

"We get a lot of people come in looking for wax, leashes, people upgrade their equipment," said shop worker Nick Fisher.

"The lifeguard says the biggest waves in 15 years here so I thought I'd buy my son a new boogie board for the waves," said Mark Bernstein of Cherry Hill.

"They're going to be pretty big, but they are going to be fun to boogie-board on," said his son Jake Bernstein.

But while surfers are all excited, local beach patrols are concerned that rip currents and pounding waves from Hurricane Bill could be a danger to swimmers.

"If need be, we'll keep bathers in at either knee-deep or we'll have to restrict swimming," said Lt. Church LaBarre of the Margate Beach Patrol.

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