Cape May lifeguards not underestimating Tropical Storm Elsa's impact

Walter Perez Image
Friday, July 9, 2021
Cape May lifeguards not underestimating Elsa's impact
In Cape May, beach patrol officials said while the threat of Elsa is small, they know not to underestimate any storm.

CAPE MAY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Jersey Shore was placed under a tropical storm warning as Elsa churned up the East Coast. The quick-moving storm moved into the region early Friday morning.

But even though Elsa isn't expected to bring major issues to the region, beach patrol officials in Cape May know said they know not to underestimate any storm.

"For us really, it means preparation. Tonight when we close up the beaches we'll take extra care bringing our equipment back and securing it, definitely more than we would on a normal day," said Chief Harry Back with the Cape May Beach Patrol.

"Quick moving storms are definitely our favorite because they are here, and gone, and we get the least amount of impact to our beaches," added Beach Patrol Capt. Marty Franco.

Officials at the Jersey Shore warn beachgoers about strong rip currents in anticipation of what becomes of Tropical Storm Elsa.

Still, some who were visiting on Thursday said they may not wait around for Elsa.

"We are slightly concerned. We may be heading back home a day early," said Casey McClellan from Media.

Others didn't want Elsa to rain on their parade.

"We are just going to make the best of it. We have been lucky over the years that when we've been down here that there's been no storms," said Ron Dollard of Boonton. "So, we are kind of looking forward to changing a little bit and riding this one out."

In Cape May, beach patrol officials said while the threat of Elsa is small, they know not to underestimate any storm.

"I think we're pretty lucky. I looked at the radar. My brother and I looked at the radar today and it looks like the brunt of it is coming through at night. So, being selfish, we'll have a reasonably OK beach day tomorrow, hopefully," added Eron Sturm of Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.

Cape May County Office of Emergency Management officials have been keeping an eye on the storm.

"We're putting out alerts and telling people there could be a wind event, possible different areas of heavy rain," said Cape May County OEM Director Marty Pagliughi.

They too are optimistic the storm's track will lead to little trouble.

"What it looks like now, we're treating it like at Northeast storm, which we get dozens every year," Pagliughi said.

Some businesses were also taking precautions Thursday.

"We'll definitely bring in the umbrellas and stuff because they do blow over even when it's not really windy at all," said Kendall Crusco fo Quincy's Original Lobster Rolls.

But she too remains hopeful by midday Friday they are just as busy as they were on Thursday.

"Yep, yep, we'll be open," Crusco said.

Tropical Storm Elsa claimed the life of at least one person earlier this week in Florida.

Nydia Han Interviews Guy Triano from the Red Cross about how to prepare for storms like Tropical Storm Elsa.