Watch CBS News

Tropical Storm Ophelia downgraded to tropical depression after hitting parts of Jersey Shore with flooding

Annual Irish Weekend Festival impacted by Tropical Storm Ophelia
Annual Irish Weekend Festival impacted by Tropical Storm Ophelia 01:51

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- At the shore, there has been some road flooding and officials are concerned about beach erosion from the rough surf. The wind was howling as Ophelia hit the Jersey Shore.

Some streets in Sea Isle City have a little bit of standing water but other streets are completely flooded.

Homeowners are keeping a careful eye on the situation. They don't want any floodwaters creeping into their homes.  

Sara Todd splashed along 42nd Street and Central Avenue to move her car to higher ground.

"It's crazy, I mean, I wasn't expecting it to be this bad," she said.

Some cars plowed through the floodwaters but other roads were impassible. Sea Isle City police blocked off the Townsends Inlet Bridge because of flooding on the Avalon side.

In the distance, you could see waves crashing over the roadway.

"It's really bad timing for us because this is our girls' weekend getaway that we do every year," Kelley O'Leary of Warrington Township said.

O'Leary and her friends came from Bucks County, hoping for a nice day at the beach.

"We're the only idiots who came down for the weekend knowing the weather forecast," O'Leary said.

Down at the beach, flags whipped in the wind. The waves were full of white caps as powerful waves crashed against the shoreline.

Residents said normally at high tide, you'd have to walk 20 yards to get to the beach but now the waves are right up against the dunes.

"We were actually on the bay a couple of minutes ago and it was more wild down there and we just got soaked and this is like calm," Claire Walsh of Morristown said.

Many residents like Leo Fontana spent the day hunkered down at home. He's concerned about the storm's economic impact in the area and in nearby Wildwood where a big event was planned.

"I think it's a shame for Irish Weekend," he said. "There's a lot of businesses, a lot of loss of money. A lot of action that could have been here, It's usually a fun weekend."

Power outages have been a concern from the beginning. Atlantic City Electric said about 1,100 households were without power.

Officials raise concerns about beach erosion as Tropical Storm Ophelia floods parts of Sea Isle City 03:00

Because of this intense weather, it led to cancellations and for events to be postponed but it's not stopping many people from lining up to get into the bars. The downpours and strong winds from Ophelia led to flooded roads in North Wildwood.

While many streets were filled with water, bars and restaurants were filled with people who came into town for the North Wildwood Irish Fall Festival.

"50 mph winds and it's a little bit of raining but we're enjoying ourselves," Steven Keenan of Bucks County said. "It's Irish Weekend. So, it's what we have to do."

"Not holding me back, I don't care," Rick Meissler, a visitor said.

"Everybody is happy. They're having a great time," Carol Troy of Elmira, New York said. "The weather is not bothering anybody."

Many were disappointed after organizers made the decision to cancel Saturday's festival activities and Sunday's parade. 

But the change in plans didn't stop people from celebrating. In fact, it even brought back memories of Ireland for some.

"This is like Ireland," Troy said.

According to festival organizers, Sunday's mass is still scheduled but vendors and street food might be postponed depending on the weather.

Tropical Storm Ophelia: Minor road flooding across Cape May 01:31

Farther down the coast in Cape May, there has been some minor road flooding. Several roads including Washington and Grant Streets experienced minor flooding about 1.5-2 inches deep though the water receded just as quickly as it came in.

At Swain's Hardware, people came in all day Friday and Saturday buying up flashlights, batteries, and bungee cords to tie down outdoor items. Meanwhile, it was a chaotic day at Harry's Ocean Bar and Grille.

They had to move an outdoor wedding inside their dining room while moving all their dinner reservations to a covered patio.

Because of these rough waves and choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Cape May Ferry canceled all trips.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.