Hurricane Sandy continues to wreak havoc along the Mid-Atlantic coast. Earlier today, pictures of a shark swimming in the streets of Brigantine New Jersey surfaced on a trending Facebook page. There were also reports of people driving Jetskis down popular city streets in Ocean City.
The eye of hurricane Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey around 8 p.m. Eastern time, devastating beach towns throughout the Garden State. Numerous sources have already reported over one billion dollars in damages, and that number is expected to rise with the tides.
For days now, meteorologist and other experts have predicted that Hurricane Sandy’s timing would play a significant role in the storm’s ability to inflict damage to the coastal regions of the Northeast. As the high tide approached on Monday night, it was obvious that the weathermen had finally got it right.
Prior to the high tide, a significant portion of coastal Jersey was already underwater. In some spots, the water was so deep that people and animals seemed to merge the lines of sand and sea. A young man and his girlfriend were reported to have driven a personal watercraft down the streets of Ocean City, and there were also reports of a shark swimming in the streets of Brigantine, though those reports are most likely the results of a photo-editing hoax.
As high tide reaches its peak, and Sandy continues to ravage the coast, the chaos is expected to continue. So far, the region has witnessed waves towering over twenty feet – walls of water high enough to leap the dunes and sweep the boardwalks.
As if the influence of the sea were not enough, raging winds have crippled the power infrastructure up and down the coast. The most recent statistics estimated that more than 500,000 power outages occurred before landfall.
Earlier in the day, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie warned the citizens of the state’s coastal regions to evacuate as soon as possible. In a press conference, he later mentioned that President Obama had promised federal aid to back the governor’s relief efforts.
Hurricane Sandy recently lost its ‘hurricane’ prefix as the center of the storm cooled, though that should not minimize the storm’s overall power. Sandy still continues to inflict damage along the Northeast, with its center just south of Philadelphia.
Although Sandy is no longer a hurricane, experts say there’s no reason to let down the guard. Heavy winds will remain vigilant throughout the region. And there are even reports that a different system could start throwing snow into the mix.