Residents in coastal communities along the Jersey Shore breathed a sigh of relief Sunday morning as sand dunes held back swollen high tides whipped up by Saturday's historic blizzard.
The dunes held through three rounds of astromonical high tides made worse by blasting winds. But the dunes held back the waters along most of the shore.
All day officials and residents of Ortley Beach, New Jersey, were worried that sand dunes might breach as waves crashed and the ocean swirled. But the dune line was holding Saturday night. For some, it was a scene reminiscent of Sandy.
“When you look down a shore, you want to have a beach. Two years after Sandy we couldn’t use the beach,” Jim Halloran said.
High water vehicles were on standby just in case, but luckily they weren't needed for the second and third high tides.
It was a close call though. Condos appeared ready to tumble into the sea as frigid waters tossed beneath them.
There were plans to bring in more sand to reinforce the dune line over the coming days, but officials weren't sure how much it would help.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money. We’ve done this several times,” Toms River OEM Director Paul Daley said.
High water trucks were the only way to get to the end of Bay Shore Drive in Barnegat. Chilly water washed across the thruway and the streets were covered in an icy wash.
But Ocean County should bounce back.
“As the sun comes out and the weather warms up a bit, it’ll be a fast transition” Ocean County Sheriff Mike Mastronardy said.
Power outages still remain a problem, however, as nearly 18,000 customers near Cape May were without power Sunday morning.