By late Friday morning, the winds picked up in Brigantine, New Jersey. Businesses and restaurants secured outdoor furniture and hauled in trash cans, in anticipation of high wind gusts.
Nearby, the beach was mainly empty, except for a few walkers and heavy equipment.
The ocean water was churning with strong rip currents and high surf.
Lee Bernstein, of Fishtown, told 6abc he expected the rough surf.
"Probably huge waves, big waves... the high tide looks like it's going to run all the way up," he said.
Other concerns across the shore include coastal flooding, beach erosion and damaging wind gusts.
Officials in Cape May said they are not expecting any catastrophic damage from the hurricane.
"We're looking at gusts, tropical force winds, gusts up to 40 miles per hour along the coast," said Martin Pagliugh, Cape May County OEM director. "Not as bad inland, but that could create some minor power outages with trees if it's close enough to the coast."
Beach patrol officials are hoping to let people back into the water on Saturday.
Ventnor and Longport also bore signs of the storm. For many, their primary focus is on those in the Bahamas and down south.
"It worries me for the southern states or the ones that will actually get hit," Bernstein said.