Rip currents, minor flooding expected at Jersey Shore from Hurricane Lee

Trish Hartman Image
Monday, September 11, 2023
Rip currents, minor flooding expected at the shore from Hurricane Lee
Rip currents, minor flooding expected at the shore from Hurricane Lee

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- As Hurricane Lee makes its way north, forecasters are watching for impacts on the Jersey Shore this week.

Cape May County Emergency Management officials expect rip currents, beach erosion and possible minor flooding.

On Monday afternoon, the Ocean City Beach Patrol evacuated the beach as a quick thunderstorm came through.

Streams of people made their way off the beach to escape the threat of lightning.

On Sunday, a waterspout was spotted from the beach in Ocean City.

"This is hurricane season right now, and especially this week in particular, the waves are going to be increasing in size and swell throughout the day, every day," said lifeguard Julia Cullen.

"Three days ago the waves were five to 10 feet. Boogie boarding was good," said Michael Milinovich of Blue Hill, Maine.

While many beachgoers have been enjoying some postseason sun, the lifeguards who are still on duty are working hard to make sure people are safe.

"Anytime we have hurricanes in the area we know it's only going to get worse and worse," said Ocean City Beach Patrol Lt. Liam Rennick. "We try to educate the beach patrons as much as we can."

Their concern: strong rip currents pulling swimmers out too far, with a smaller lifeguard staff on duty.

Many lifeguards have gone back to school and are no longer available to work.

"All of a sudden they're standing and they're fine and then they drift over a little bit and then they get sucked out pretty quick. Now they can't stand anymore," said Cullen.

"We cannot stress enough to swim at a guarded beach," said Rennick.

In Ocean City, the plan is to have guards on limited beaches through this Sunday.

Some beach patrols in other towns are already done for the season.

If you see anyone in distress in the ocean and a lifeguard is not around, you should call 911 right away.