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Ocean City is ‘Sand City,’ as mid-Atlantic beaches take a beating from relentless winds and waves

Sand covers the benches and boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., yesterday. (CodeAndCommand <a href="">via Twitter</a> )

While the Carolinas are getting most of the national headlines, and rightly so considering the disastrous situation there, the mid-Atlantic beaches are taking quite a beating this weekend, despite Hurricane Joaquin passing well offshore.

It’s not the rain that has been the biggest problem, generally 2-4″ over the past few days, but rather the wind and waves. As measured at Ocean City, Md., over 84 straight hours (starting just after midnight Oct. 1) of winds gusting from the northeast over 20 mph, often around 30-50 mph, have produced waves near and over 10 feet (reportedly as high as 18-20 feet) and caused serious flooding of low-lying areas.

Coastal flood warnings, wind advisories, and high surf advisories remain in effect for many coastal areas from New Jersey to Virginia. Surf heights of 8 to 11 feet are expected at Ocean City, Md., through early Monday, with the National Weather Service warning “LARGE AND BREAKING WAVES WILL BE DANGEROUS TO ANYONE WHO ENTERS THE SURF. THERE WILL ALSO BE DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS AND BEACH EROSION.”

The highest tides for the entire storm are expected during Sunday afternoon’s high tide, likely approaching 5 feet.

Winds have continued to gust around 40-50 mph today up and down the mid-Atlantic coast, though should relax a bit starting tonight into tomorrow. Substantial beach erosion has occurred in Ocean City, NJ. Back in Ocean City, Md., many roads are impassable with moderate flooding to continue today, and minor flooding on Monday. In a Facebook update today, Southern Maryland Weather & News reported:

It’s now morning in the best vacation spot of MD. It doesn’t look so good over there. It’s basically sand city over there. It’s very gusty in OC with gusts over 50 MPH. The clean up is beginning. It’ll take a few days for the mess to be cleaned up. Still a lot of Coastal Flooding is occurring over there.

And here’s more from DelMarvaNow:

The Ocean City Inlet parking lot and the beach remain closed to the public until further notice, according to the town’s website. Due to strong rip currents that occur during and after storms, citizens are reminded not to swim in the ocean when conditions improve. Various streets in Ocean City, specifically in the downtown area, are subject to closures due to impassible roadways at high tide over the next several days.

The Associated Press reported no major damages or injuries so far…

Spokeswoman Jessica Waters said moderate flooding from the high tide Saturday afternoon forced street closures in low-lying areas. She said the Maryland National Guard is helping out, but no major damage or injuries have been reported. At least two military vehicles were seen driving in the flooded area

On Friday, WMDT reported that “After the storm officials will decide if they need to take emergency action and haul sand for temporary repairs do a full beach restoration or not take any action at all. Full beach replenishment can be very costly  Ocean City spent 10 million dollars after Hurricane Sandy to restore its beaches completely.”

Below are some more images and video to help tell the story…

This video is from Bethany Beach, DE…

And on the Jersey Shore…