By Michelle Durham

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — Atlantic City, NJ officials are blocking access to some of the city’s famous beaches because of dangerous conditions there.

Tom Foley, the city’s emergency management coordinator and chief of emergency services, says an unaware pedestrian could fall and be injured or even killed.

“The problem is when they build these dunes so high, it’s just like building a sand castle on the beach,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “When they are undermined, they cave in and it leaves a tremendous cliff, and the cliff is about 17 feet high — and you don’t see it, especially at night.”

Foley says he’s especially concerned because the mild temperatures are bringing more pedestrians to the beaches than you would normally see in January.

“God forbid if that caved in on them while they are walking on the beach,” he says.  “You are talking about tons of sand.  Our police are patrolling that area and we have the stairways blocked off. ”

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection will begin their beach-filling process about February 15th.

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